US working with Europe to end Ukraine violence
The United States is in close contact with European allies to try to end the violence in Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday.
"We will stand with the people of Ukraine," Kerry vowed at the World Economic Forum meeting in the Swiss town of Davos.
"We're working with our partners to press the government of Ukraine to forego violence, address the concerns of peaceful protesters, foster dialogue, and promote the freedom of assembly and expression."
Germany, France and several other European countries said Friday they had summoned the Ukrainian ambassador in their respective capitals to protest Kiev's response to pro-EU protests in which activists say five people have died.
Anti-government protesters Friday occupied regional administration buildings in six regions in western Ukraine after storming the buildings, in a major new challenge for President Viktor Yanukovych.
Five days of clashes, which came after two months of protests over Yanukovych's failure to sign an integration deal with the European Union under Russia pressure, led to near apocalyptic scenes in the Ukrainian capital this week as flames and smoke framed the demonstrations.
© 2014 AFP