'No One Wants Ukraine To Descend Into Chaos -- Choice Is in President Yanukovych’s Hands'

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
February 19, 2014

Today, President Barack Obama called on the Ukrainian Government to show restraint and not to resort to violence. President Obama said, "We hold the Ukrainian government primarily responsible for making sure that it is dealing with peaceful protesters in an appropriate way, that the Ukrainian people are able to assemble and speak freely about their interests without fear of repression."

The President iterated that the United States will continue to engage with all sides in the dispute in Ukraine.  After arriving in Mexico for the North American Leaders Summit, he said, "...Ultimately our interest is to make sure the Ukrainian people can express their own desires."

Earlier in the day, Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the situation in Ukraine during a meeting with French Foreign Minister Fabius Laurent in Paris. Secretary Kerry said the United States is deeply disturbed by the violence and that Ukrainian President Yanukovych has the opportunity to make a choice "between protecting the people that he serves, all of the people, and a choice for a compromise and dialogue versus violence and mayhem."  The Secretary tweeted, "No one wants Ukraine to descend into chaos; choice is in President Yanukovych’s hands."  Secretary Kerry said, "Our desire is for Mr. Yanukovych to bring people together, dialogue with the opposition, find the measure of compromise, and put the broad interests of the people of Ukraine out front."

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