WASHINGTON, January 24 (RIA Novosti) – US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday reiterated the United States’ support for Ukrainian protesters and said Washington is working with its allies and top officials in Kiev to halt the violence between security forces and government opponents.
“We will stand with the people of Ukraine,” Kerry said in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Kerry added that the United States is coordinating with its allies in efforts to resolve the situation peacefully.
“We are working with our partners to press the government of Ukraine to forego violence, to address the concerns of peaceful protesters, to foster dialogue, promote the freedom of assembly and expression,” he said.
Dozens of protesters and riot police have been injured in the surge of violence that that enveloped the capital Kiev this week after Ukraine’s government enacted laws severely restricting protests.
Authorities have confirmed that two protesters have been killed in the unrest, while the Ukrainian opposition claims at least five protesters have been killed.
Kerry said that shortly before he took the podium Friday, he received messages from US diplomats on the ground in Ukraine who are working with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych “to try to achieve calm and help move in this direction in the next days.”
In a bid to ease tensions in the country, Yanukovych announced Friday that Ukraine’s parliament next week would consider pardoning detained political activists and reshuffling the government’s top ministers.