U.S. urges Ukraine president not to declare state of emergency

WASHINGTON Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:18pm EST

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WASHINGTON Jan 27 (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich on Monday to urge the government not to declare a state of emergency and work with the opposition to bring a peaceful end to unrest.

"(Biden) underscored that the U.S. condemns 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," the White House said.

"Underscoring that no time should be lost, the vice president urged President Yanukovich to pull back riot police and work with the opposition on immediate measures to de-escalate tensions between protesters and the government."

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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