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Biden Urges Yanukovych to Open Dialogue With Opposition

U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden expressed his deep concern about the tense situation in Ukraine during a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and urged him to open a political dialogue with the opposition.

Biden told Yanukovych Monday that the standoff between the authorities and protesters needed to be diffused and that "violence has no place in a democratic society." Violence is incompatible with the U.S.-Ukrainian strategic partnership, he said, according to a statement on the White House's website.

The United State's supports Ukraine's European aspirations and welcomes Yanukovych's commitment to following that path, Biden said.

He also welcomed the upcoming visits to Kiev of Catherine Ashton, EU foreign policy chief, and Victoria Nuland, U.S. State Department assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs.

Nuland, who is in Moscow meeting with Russian foreign affairs officials, said Washington remained dedicated to supporting Ukraine's plans for European integration and asked Russia to use its influence to ensure a peaceful solution to the current situation, the U.S. Embassy said in a statement.

During her visit, Nuland said that the U.S. supports a non-violent and political resolution and the restoration Ukraine's economy with the support of the International Monetary Fund.

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