News / USA

Kerry to Meet With Ukraine Opposition in Munich

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (R) and US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) address a press conference, Jan. 31, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (R) and US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) address a press conference, Jan. 31, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has not yet made sufficient concessions to end his nation's political crisis.

Kerry spoke from Germany where he will meet with Ukrainian opposition leaders on the sidelines of an international security conference.
Yanukovych says his political opponents are escalating the crisis, unlike his own government, which he says has fulfilled its obligations to end the standoff by replacing the prime minister and granting a conditional amnesty for arrested protestors.
But Kerry said the Yanukovych government still has work to do.
"The offers of President Yanukovich have not yet reached an adequate level of reform and an adequate level of sharing of the future so that the opposition can in fact feel that it could legitimately come to the table and form some kind of unity government," he said.
Kerry spoke to reporters in Berlin alongside German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeir.

Speaking through a translator, Steinmeir said it is still unclear whether the Ukrainian president is willing to accept real change.
"My impression is that Yanukovych up until now still has not fully understood how serious the situation is as can clearly be seen by the nature of the offers that have been made," he said. "They have been made contingent on a number of conditions."
Ukrainian opposition leaders including politician Arseny Yatsenyuk and former boxing champion-turned-activist Vitali Klitschko will meet with foreign ministers in Munich Saturday

Kerry said he will reinforce the need for them to continue to be unified as they press for a reform agenda.
"But we will also say to them: 'If you get that reform agenda, if you are able to secure genuine participation and a genuine ability to bring the country together then we would urge them to engage in that because further standoff and further violence that becomes uncontrollable is not in anybody's interest,' " he said.
Kerry said he has discussed events in Ukraine with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and has stressed the importance of events there not getting "trapped in some kind of larger ambition for Russia or the United States."
"That's not what this is about," he said. "This is about the freedom of choice for the people of Ukraine and their ability to be able to define their future without coercion from outside forces."

  • An opposition supporter looks on as he warms himself next to a fire in a barricade near Kyiv's Independence Square, Jan. 31, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters march in central Kyiv, Jan. 31, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters march in central Kyiv, Jan. 31, 2014.
  • An opposition supporter stands next to a burning tire at a barricade in central Kyiv, Jan. 30, 2014.
  • Riot police stand in a cordon facing anti-government protesters as temperatures stand at minus 20 degrees Celsius at a barricade near Independence Square in Kyiv, Jan. 30, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters walk in the tent city at Independence Square in Kyiv, Jan. 30, 2014.
  • Protesters, with signs reading "Mother" on their chests, and ""The government don't kill our children," walk away from a police cordon in central Kyiv, Jan. 30, 2014.
  • Members of various anti-government paramilitary groups walk in formation during a show of force in Kyiv, Jan. 29, 2014. 
  • Members of various anti-government paramilitary groups attend a religious service at a chapel in Kyiv, Jan. 29, 2014. 
  • A protest camp in Independence Square, Kyiv, Jan. 28, 2014. (H. Ridgwell/VOA)
  • Protest camps in Independence Square, Kyiv, Jan. 28, 2013. (H. Ridgwell/VOA)

Ukrainians took to the streets in November when Yanukovych backed out of a trade deal with the European Union in favor of closer ties to Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said this week that he wants to wait for a new government in Ukraine before proceeding with a promised $15 billion loan and substantial natural gas discounts.
The United Nations human rights office is calling on Yanukovych to investigate recent reports of deaths, kidnappings and torture during the political unrest. The president announced Thursday that he is going on sick leave for an acute respiratory infection and fever.

You May Like

800-Pound Man Determined to Slim Down

Man says he was kicked out of hospital for ordering pizza; wants to be an actor More

Australia Prepares to Resettle 12,000 Syrian Refugees

Preference will be given to refugees from persecuted minorities, and the first group is expected to arrive before late December More

S. African Miners Seek Class Action Suit Against Gold Mines

The estimated 100,000 say say they contracted the lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis in the mines More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Ukrainian American from: Boston MA
January 31, 2014 5:51 PM
How can one even focus on reform through Parliament when the nation is violently attacking government buildings.

Fact is, Congress in the US is just as slow at making reforms.... So to sit around and point fingers on who is a worse leader will is ludicrous.

If Kerry wants to help, he wont take sides. The world is round, there are no sides..... Except one side, which is preserving the planet we have from unwarranted violence and chaos....

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs