White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called for Ukrainian President Yanukovych to immediately withdraw his security forces from downtown Kyiv and to respect the right of peaceful protest. Mr. Carney said, "We are outraged by the images of Ukrainian security forces firing automatic weapons on their own people." Mr. Carney emphasized that the use of force will not resolve the crisis and clear steps must be taken to stop the violence and initiate meaningful dialogue. He said, "The United States will work with our European allies to hold those responsible for violence accountable and to help the Ukrainian people get a unified and independent Ukraine back on the path to a better future."
In a video message, Ambassador Geoff Pyatt offered his deepest condolences to those who were killed and injured and their family members, who were victims of the violence on Maidan today. The Ambassador offered his support to those seeking to build a peaceful future for the country and to bring an end to the violence that has occurred over the past few days. Ambassador Pyatt tweeted, "The violence must stop." He called on Ukraine's elected officials to resolve the conflict by political means. He said, "For today, the most important that needs to happen is to move politics off the streets and back into Ukraine's democratic institutions...If you are not there tonight working to forge a political solution, you are part of the problem. You are not part of the solution!"
For more information:
- Readout of President Obama's Call With German Chancellor Merkel on Ukraine, February 20, 2014
- Readout of Vice President Biden's Call With Ukrainian President Yanukovych, February 20, 2014
- Statement by Secretary of State John Kerry on the Situation in Ukraine, February 20, 2014
- U.S. Department of State Ukraine Country Page
- Ukraine Travel Alert