WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday expressed "strong" U.S. support for actions taken by the Ukrainian parliament, hailing them the most "promising" path forward to restore peace in the country.
Kerry made the remark in his telephone talk with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Sunday morning, a senior State Department official told reporters.
On Sunday, Ukrainian lawmakers voted to hand over the duties of president to parliament Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov, one day after the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych following more than three months of violent protests. The parliament also took actions to stabilize the country's political and economic situation.
Kerry emphasized that the parliamentary votes offer "the best and most promising path forward" to restore peace and stability to Ukraine quickly, and to address the country's pressing financial challenges in the coming weeks and months.
In the telephone call, Kerry expressed the hope that Russia will join with the U.S. and the European Union to help Ukraine " turn the page and emerge from this crisis stronger, united and moving forward through new elections and critically needed reforms, " according to the senior official.
The top U.S. diplomat also noted the call for all sides to refrain from violence and respect Ukraine's democratic institutions.
Kerry also underscored the expectation of the U.S. government that Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity and democratic freedom of choice will be respected by all states.