The Ukrainian Parliament has voted to adopt a law granting amnesty to arrested protesters on the condition that the demonstrators leave occupied buildings.
The result of the vote, which came after a long day of behind-the-scenes meetings, is unlikely to end the uprising as opposition parties and protesters were demanding an unconditional amnesty.
All three opposition parties voted against the law, leaving the country still bitterly divided.
There were reports throughout the evening that President Viktor Yanukovych was having trouble keeping the members of his Party of Regions united, but in the end they all voted to accept the measure ensuring its passage.
Reaction to the vote in Independence Square, where a crowd had been waiting all evening, was muted as it happened so quickly and there were no details as to what MPs were voting on.
Opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk said earlier that the protesters will not agree to leave the streets in exchange for an amnesty.
The amnesty law is part of a series of concessions from the embattled Mr. Yanukovych, after a week of street clashes between police and protesters and protesters’ seizure of government buildings in western Ukraine. The prime minister has resigned and harsh anti-protest laws have been recalled, but those moves did not address the protesters’ other key demands that Mr. Yanukovych resign and early elections be held.
The protests erupted after Mr. Yanukovych turned down a deal in November with the European Union in favour of getting a $15-billion bailout from Russia, but they have since shifted to demanding more human rights, less corruption and more democracy in this nation of 45 million.
With a report from The Associated Press.