US Secretary of State calls Russia`s Lavrov to discuss Ukraine

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday called his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to discuss the present situation in Ukraine after a spate of deadly violence.

AFP| Updated: Feb 25, 2014, 00:56 AM IST

Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday called his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to discuss the present situation in Ukraine after a spate of deadly violence.

During the call, Kerry expressed America`s strong support for action of the Ukrainian parliament to name acting president and acting prime minister, and to move quickly to stabilise the country`s political and economic situation, a senior State Department official said.
"Kerry emphasised that the votes taken today by huge majorities of the Ukrainian people`s elected representatives from all parties, including the Party of Regions, offer the best and most promising path forward to restore peace and stability to Ukraine quickly, and to address Ukraine`s pressing financial challenges in the coming weeks and months."

Talks between the two leaders came a day after protesters had taken over the capital of Kiev and seized the president`s office as parliament voted to remove President Viktor Yanukovych and hold new elections.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said Kerry restated the US` readiness to work with all members of the international community and all international institutions to support Ukraine and the Ukrainian people at this critical time.
"Kerry expressed our hope that the Russian Federation will join with us, the European Union and its member states, and other concerned countries to help Ukraine turn the page and emerge from this crisis stronger, united and moving forward through new elections and critically needed reforms," said the official.

"The Secretary noted our call for all sides to refrain from violence and to respect Ukraine`s democratic institutions. He also underscored the US` expectation that Ukraine`s sovereignty, territorial integrity and democratic freedom of choice will be respected by all states."

Earlier, National Security Advisor Susan Rice told a news channel that America wants to see a de-escalation of violence.

"We want to see constitutional change. We want to see democratic elections in very short order and the opportunity for the people of Ukraine to come together in a coalition unity government," Rice said.

"The US is on the side of the Ukrainian people, and the Ukrainian people have indicated from the outset -- three months ago when this began that President Yanukovych, at the time -- his decision to turn away from Europe was not the choice of the Ukrainian people.

The US also welcomed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko`s release from a prison hospital.