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Biden, Yanukovich discuss situation in Ukraine

February 21, 2014, 5:30 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
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WASHINGTON, February 21, 2:56 /ITAR-TASS/. ass) - U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden discussed once again with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich current situation in Ukraine in a telephone conversation on Thursday, unnamed U.S. officials told reporters.

The United States is ready to impose sanctions against Ukrainian government officials who are responsible for the violence in the country, U.S. Vice President Josef Biden said in a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich on Thursday, February 20, the White House said.

Biden also urged Yanukovich to remove security forces from the streets of Kiev and cooperate with the opposition.

“Vice President strongly condemned the violence against civilians in Kyiv. He called upon President Yanukovich to immediately pull back all security forces - police, snipers, military and paramilitary units, and irregular forces. The Vice President made clear that the United States is prepared to sanction those officials responsible for the violence,” the statement said.

“The Vice President urged President Yanukovich to take immediate and tangible steps to work with the opposition on a path forward that addresses the legitimate aspirations of the Ukrainian people. The Vice President underscored that the United States supports an independent, democratic Ukraine that pursues the future its people choose,” the White House said.

This is the second time Biden telephones Yanukovich this week. During their previous conversation on Tuesday, February 18, Biden urged him to “to pull back government forces and to exercise maximum restraint.”

“The Vice President made clear that the United States condemns violence by any side, but that the government bears special responsibility to de-escalate the situation,” the White House said back then.

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