West and Russia accuse each other of "coercing" Ukraine
Saturday, February 01, 2014 - 01:33
Feb. 1 - The U.S. and Russia exchanged angry words Saturday in a tug-of-war over Ukraine. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
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World diplomats gather in Munich for the second day of a security conference that served as a backdrop in a tug-of-war over Ukraine.
Western diplomats sat down with leaders of the Ukrainian opposition.
And U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry praised protesters for their aspirations.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY SAYING:
"And they are fighting for the right to associate with partners who help them realize their aspirations. And they have decided that that means their futures do not have to lie with one country alone and certainly not coerced. The United States and the EU stand with the people of Ukraine in that fight."
But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, outnumbered in Munich by supporters of Ukraine's overtures to the EU, hit back.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEI LAVROV SAYING:
"Why don't we condemn those who seize and hold government buildings, attack the police, torch the police, use racist and anti-semitic and Nazi slogans?"
In an effort to stem the violence, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich signed into law an amnesty for protesters detained in the unrest and repealed anti-protest legislation.
But this looks unlikely to end a movement that began when he accepted a Russian loan package late last year instead of a trade deal with Europe.
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