Readout of Vice President Biden's Call with President Yanukovych of Ukraine
Vice President Biden called Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to express U.S. support for on-going negotiations between the government and the opposition to end the current standoff and bring about a peaceful, political solution to the crisis.
He underscored that the U.S. condemns the use of violence by any side, and warned that declaring a State of Emergency or enacting other harsh security measures would further inflame the situation and close the space for a peaceful resolution.
Underscoring that no time should be lost, the Vice President urged President Yanukovych to pull back riot police and work with the opposition on immediate measures to de-escalate tensions between protesters and the government. He also urged the government to take concrete steps during tomorrow’s parliamentary session to respond to the full and legitimate concerns of the Ukrainian people, including by repealing the anti-democratic laws passed on January 16.
Finally, the Vice President reaffirmed the unwavering support of the United States for a Ukraine that rejects violence and that respects the human rights and dignity of its citizens in accordance with their European aspirations and their desire to restore their country back to economic health.