US urges Ukrainian president to defuse crisis

Washington, Jan 29: US Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday “strongly encouraged” Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to work with the opposition to find compromises critical to ending the country’s current political crisis.

In a telephone talk between the two leaders, Biden welcomed the progress made Tuesday and urged Yanukovych to immediately sign the repeal of anti-protest laws, Xinhua quoted White House in a statement.

Earlier, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov tendered his resignation Tuesday, aiming to “create an additional possibility” for a political compromise to peacefully resolve the conflict in Ukraine. Yanukovych accepted the resignation, and the government was subsequently dissolved.

Protests in Ukraine turned violent about 10 days ago, when radical activists attacked riot police with fireworks and petrol bombs.

The mass rallies started in Ukraine last November, following a government decision to put on hold an association agreement with the European Union and opt for closer relations with Russia.

IANS