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US Cheers Tymoshenko's Release, Hopes Ukraine Is on Peaceful Path

The United States welcomed the latest political developments in Ukraine Saturday and said former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko's release from prison was particularly gratifying.

A statement from President Barack Obama's press office said U.S. officials "continue to urge an end to violence by all sides" in Ukraine.

The statement said the United States will focus on "peaceful, democratic dialogue" in Ukraine, in cooperation with its allies, Russia, and European and international organizations.

Here is the text of the statement, as released at the White House:

"The United States is closely monitoring developments in Ukraine. We have consistently advocated a de-escalation of violence, constitutional change, a coalition government, and early elections, and today's developments could move us closer to that goal. The unshakeable principle guiding events must be that the people of Ukraine determine their own future. We welcome constructive work in the Rada [Ukrainian parliament] and continue to urge the prompt formation of a broad, technocratic government of national unity. We welcome former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko's release from a prison hospital today, and we wish her a speedy recovery as she seeks the appropriate medical treatment that she has long needed and sought.

"We continue to urge an end to violence by all sides and a focus on peaceful, democratic dialogue, working pursuant to Ukraine's constitution and through its institutions of government. Going forward, we will work with our allies, with Russia, and with appropriate European and international organizations to support a strong, prosperous, unified and democratic Ukraine. Going forward, the Ukrainian people should know that the United States deeply values our long-standing ties with Ukraine and will support them as they pursue a path of democracy and economic development."

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