Victoria Nuland, U.S. assistant secretary of state, called on President Viktor Yanukovych to lead the nation out of an escalating political crisis by resuming talks with the European Union and with the International Monetary Fund.
© Katya Gorchinskaya
After more than two hours in talks with President Viktor Yanukovych, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said there is still a way to resolve the escalating political crisis in Ukraine.
Addressing journalists outside the presidential headquarters following the meeting, Nuland said, “I hope the people of Ukraine know that the U.S. stands with you in your search for justice, for human dignity and security for economic health, and the European future that you have chosen and deserve.”
She continued: “I just spent more than two hours with President Yanukovych, it was a tough conversation but a realistic one. I made it absolutely clear to him that what happened last night (during an attempted police breakup of Independence Square), what was happening in security terms was absolutely impermissible in democratic states.”
She added that there is “still a way out for Ukraine to save its European future and that we want the president to lead.”
To do this Nuland urged Yanukovych to resume talks with the European Union – on Nov. 21 the government rejected an association agreement with the EU – and with the International Monetary Fund.
Ukraine crucially needs financial assistance to meet some $15 billion of external debt payment.
She said these steps should “bring justice and human dignity to Ukraine.”
“I have no doubt that after our meeting, President Yanukovych knows what he needs to do,” concluded Nuland.
Kyiv Post staff writer Oksana Grytsenko can be reached at email@example.com.