WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Monday urged Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to work with the opposition on immediate measures to de-escalate tensions between protesters and the government.
In a telephone talk between the two leaders, Biden expressed U.S. support for ongoing negotiations between the two sides to end the current standoff, White House said in a statement.
Biden said the United States condemned the use of violence by any side, and warned that declaring a state of emergency or enacting other harsh security measures would further inflame the situation and close the space for a peaceful resolution, according to the statement.
Biden also urged the Ukrainian government to take concrete steps during a parliamentary session on Tuesday to respond to the full and legitimate concerns of the Ukrainian people.
Protests in Ukraine turned violent about 10 days ago, when radical activists attacked riot police with fireworks and petrol bombs. Since Jan. 19, at least three people were reported dead and hundreds of others, including police officers, injured during the clashes.
The protests are becoming unmanageable because activists protesting against the government have also lost confidence in the opposition over its ineffectiveness and unrealistic demands. The opposition has called for the impeachment of President Yanukovych, resignation of the government and dissolution of parliament.
On Friday, Yanukovych pledged to reshuffle the government and amend controversial anti-protest laws in an apparent concession to the opposition.
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.