US demands Yanukovych 'end' violence in Kiev

18th February 2014, Comments 0 comments

The United States called Tuesday on Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to "end" violence in Kiev, saying it was appalled by clashes between riot police and demonstrators that killed five people.

"We are appalled by the violence taking place in downtown Kiev. We urge President Yanukovych to immediately de-escalate the situation and end the confrontation at Maidan," the city's Independence Square, said Laura Lucas Magnuson, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council.

Magnuson said the excessive use of force on either side of Ukraine's political divide would not resolve the crisis.

She also urged the president to start a dialogue with the opposition immediately.

At least five people were killed and scores injured as anti-government protestors battled riot police in Kiev in the first outbreak of violence in weeks.

Security forces issued an ultimatum that they would use "grave actions" if violence did not cease by 1600 GMT.

Tuesday's violence marked the first such outburst since mid-January in the Ukrainian capital, which has been wracked by anti-government demonstrations since Yanukovych in November rejected a European Union pact in favor of closer ties with historical master Russia.

© 2014 AFP

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