Today, Vice President Joe Biden called Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to express grave concern regarding the crisis on the streets of Kyiv. He called on President Yanukovych to pull back government forces and to exercise maximum restraint. The Vice President made clear that the United States condemns violence by any side, but that the government bears special responsibility to de-escalate the situation. The Vice President further underscored the urgency of immediate dialogue with opposition leaders to address protesters' legitimate grievances and to put forward serious proposals for political reform.
In a statement, Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said, "Secretary Kerry shares the grave concerns expressed by Vice President Biden directly to President Yanukovych today regarding the unacceptable violence on the streets of Kyiv. We call on President Yanukovych and the Ukrainian government to de-escalate the situation immediately, and resume dialogue with the opposition on a peaceful path forward. Ukraine’s deep divisions will not be healed by spilling more innocent blood."
The United States is committed to supporting efforts to promote a peaceful resolution to the crisis that reflects the will and aspirations of the Ukrainian people.
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