UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Sunday appealed directly to Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich for a peaceful dialogue to defuse ongoing political tensions in the country.
In a phone call with the Ukrainian president, Ban expressed his grave concern and emphasized that "there must be no resort to violence."
Hundreds of thousands of protesters on Sunday rallied anew in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. A group of anti-government protesters toppled the statue of Vladimir Lenin in the day.
The waves of demonstrations were sparked by a government decision last month to shelve a long-planned treaty with the 28- nation European Union to focus on ties with Russia.
In Sunday's phone call, the UN chief "appealed for peaceful dialogue amongst all parties concerned," according to a readout of the conversation from Ban's spokesperson.
Ban also welcomed President Yanukovich's assurances that consultations would be initiated to calm down the situation.