Vice President Biden called Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to urge an immediate de-escalation in the standoff between protesters and security forces in downtown Kyiv.
The Vice President urged President Yanukovych to take steps to end violence and to meaningfully address the legitimate concerns of peaceful protesters, stressing the importance of the ongoing dialogue with the opposition and the need for genuine compromise as the only solution to the crisis. The Vice President underscored that freedoms of assembly and expression are fundamental pillars of a democratic society and must be protected.
While emphasizing that violence by any side is not acceptable, the Vice President underscored that only the government of Ukraine can ensure a peaceful end to the crisis and further bloodshed would have consequences for Ukraine’s relationship with the United States. Vice President Biden encouraged President Yanukovych to find a peaceful resolution to the crisis.