Imprisoned Kyrgyz opposition leader Felix Kulov was freed on Thursday as protesters took control of key government facilities, the Interfax news agency cited opposition sources as saying.
Kulov, once a vice president under embattled President Askar Akayev, was imprisoned in 2000 under embezzlement charges that supporters said were politically motivated. His release could be a key element in unifying the Kyrgyz opposition, which until now has lacked a single clear leader.
Europe has recognised the need for negotiations with Russia to discuss the security system on the continent. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is going to Macedonia for meetings with colleagues within the OSCE