UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Monday called for inclusive dialogue to resolve the raging political crisis in Ukraine during a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, a UN spokesman told reporters here.
Ban, who is currently on a visit to Cuba, "informed the president (Yanukovych) that he has continued to follow the situation in Ukraine closely and shared his grave concern about recent developments in the country," said Farhan Haq, Ban's acting deputy spokesperson, at a daily briefing.
The UN chief renewed his calls for meaningful, sustained and inclusive dialogue by all parties in order to find a solution to the crisis and prevent further bloodshed.
Ban also encouraged Yanukovych to lead a constructive dialogue process to help resolve the crisis in his country peacefully and through compromise, said Haq. "The secretary-general assured the president that the United Nations stood by Ukraine and its people. "
Protests in Ukraine turned nasty a week ago, when radical activists threw fireworks and petrol bombs at riot police. Since then, at least three people were reported dead and hundreds of others, including police officers, injured during the clashes.
The demonstrations are spiraling out of control as protesters have gradually lost confidence in the opposition party over its ineffectiveness and unrealistic demands, including the impeachment of Yanukovych, resignation of the government and dissolution of parliament.
On Friday, Yanukovych pledged to reshuffle the government and amend controversial anti-protest laws next week in an apparent concession to the opposition.
The mass rallies in Ukraine started in November, following a government decision to put on hold an association agreement with the European Union and opt for closer relations with Russia.