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

FIFA Indictments Put Gold Cup Tournament Under Cloud

Experts say US indictments could lead to charges of other world soccer officials, and lead to major shakeup in sport's governance More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs