Washington: The US has said that violence by the Ukrainian authorities against peaceful demonstrators in the nation`s capital over weekend was unacceptable, asserting that Washington does not consider peaceful protests coup attempts.
"We certainly don`t consider peaceful demonstrations coup attempts. The violence by government authorities against peaceful demonstrators in Kiev on Saturday morning was unacceptable," the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters yesterday at his daily news conference.
"While we note that the policy has generally exercised restraint since then, there have been a number of disturbing reports of journalists and members of the media being targeted and assaulted by security forces," he said responding to questions regarding the latest developments in Ukraine.
Carney urged Ukraine`s leaders to respect their people`s right to freedom of expression and assembly.
"These are fundamental to a healthy democracy, and the respect for universal values on which the United States` partnership with Ukraine depends," he said.
"Consistent with the principles embodied by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation (OSCE) in Europe, we call on the government of Ukraine to foster a positive environment for civil society and to protect the rights of all Ukrainians to express their views on their country`s future in a constructive and peaceful manner in Kiev and in other parts of the country," he said.
Violence and intimidation should have no place in today`s Ukraine, he added.
Noting that US is closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine, the State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said that since the demonstrations began on November 21st there have been an increasing number of violent incidents, including against journalists.
"We stress there is no room, and we continue to stress, there`s no room for violence in a country that aspires to a democratic future. We continue to call on all sides to maintain calm, and on Ukrainian authorities to ensure that members of the public and the press are able to safely and peacefully exercise their right to speech and assembly,? she said.
The Assistant Secretary of State for the region, Victoria Nuland, is still planning to travel there.
"The Ukrainian foreign ministry announced that the ministerial is proceeding as planned. We continue to support the aspirations of the Ukrainian people to achieve a prosperous European democracy. European integration is the surest course to economic growth and to strengthening Ukraine`s democracy," she said.