UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Monday called upon all the parties concerned in Ukraine to "act with restraint" and start "meaningful dialogue" to avoid further violence in the country.
While addressing a daily news briefing here, UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky said: "the secretary-general has been closely following events in Ukraine. He appeals to all parties to act with restraint, avoid any further violence and to uphold the democratic principles of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly."
"The secretary-general encourages meaningful dialogue between all concerned, in the pursuit of a prosperous future for Ukraine and mutual agreement among Ukrainians on the path forward for the country," Nesirky said.
Massive demonstrations rocked the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, with tens of thousands of people taking to the streets Sunday to protest against President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to suspend a trade pact with the European Union (EU).
Thousands of demonstrators stormed the presidential administrative building and the office of the mayor of Kiev, leading to violent clashes between police and protesters and leaving 53 demonstrators injured, according to the Kiev administration healthcare department.
Sunday's protest was reportedly the largest since rally began on Nov. 21, when Ukraine, which was due to sign political-economic agreements with the EU at the Eastern Partnership Summit held in Lithuania on Nov. 28-29, suddenly announced to put the deal on hold, opting for closer trade ties with Russia instead.