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Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych may be open to early elections, says U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt

February 20th, 2014
03:04 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych may be opening to the idea of early presidential elections, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt told CNN’s Hala Gorani, in for Christiane Amanpour, on Thursday.

“There’s a lot of discussion this evening about early elections, and I understand that there were some suggestions made by Yanukovych to the three visiting European foreign ministers who were here,” Pyatt said on the phone from Kiev, referring to the visit of the French, German, and Polish foreign ministers to the Ukrainian capital.

The next elections are currently scheduled for 2015. Yanukovych would be reversing position were he to support early elections.

U.S. Ambassador urges calm in Ukraine

Pyatt said that the U.S. does not believe that Yanukovych should step down, as the opposition wants, but did say that a new government should be formed.

“Our position is the President Yankukovych needs to lead his country into a new future, and he needs to do so through the vehicle of a new government, change to the constitution and the political order.”

More than 100 people died in the fighting Thursday, protest medical officials said. The government didn't release its own figures.

“It’s very clear that for the United States the preponderance of responsibility rests with President Yankuovych. He is the head of government. That being said, we have been very clear in condemning the violence on both sides.”

Pyatt said that he had spoken with many “political and business community leaders,” and they all agreed that Thursday was “the most tragic day in the history of Ukraine.”

“Decisive action is needed now to restore stability and peace in the capital,” he told Gorani.

“It’s going to take very strong signals that those responsible for the atrocious violence of the past weeks will be held fully accountable, and a new technocratic government, which is multi-party, reflects the opposition and the governing Party of Regions.”

Filed under:  Latest Episode • Ukraine
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Dmitry

    This is truly shameful! The Ukrainian government and especially it's so-called president has lost any remaining credibility. Cooperating with them means taking part in killings of innocent Ukrainian people and driving Ukraine to ruin!

    February 20, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  2. Ukrainian people

    This is crazy. Viktor Yanukovych was sentenced for his crimes until today kills. And today, he should be torn in pieces, as the initiator of killing of civilians. He can not lead anywhere people of Ukraine. People will never forgive him!

    February 20, 2014 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  3. Vladimir

    Pass this message to Mr. Geoffrey Pyatt, he should not be with Viktor Yanukovich even say hello. Because it supports these mafia boss and acts against the people of Ukraine.
    Аdvised to familiarize:

    February 20, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  4. Igor

    This is truly shameful for CNN! You either publish a full script of conversation with U.S. Ambassador or publish nothing....just video. First CNN cut bits and pieces of U.S. Ambassador message, then russian agency copy/paste what they see fit ( looks like US government support a criminal president of Ukraine – Viktor Yanukovych.

    February 20, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  5. a Ukrainian

    this is a radio communication of snipers on the roofs shooting at peaceful protesters, medics and kids.
    Their commander was yanukovich.
    His only hope is to be sentenced by the international criminal court in Haague,
    otherwise his ratpack is going to silence him forever and make him an escapegoat.

    February 21, 2014 at 1:38 am | Reply
    • Ukhaina

      From this radio interception clearly that the sniper not from BERCYT that they catch the sniper of the opponent and observe

      February 21, 2014 at 4:52 am | Reply
  6. Михайло Карповий

    No. Thousands of good people were killed, badly injured, turtured, lost their loved ones – and all for "Viktor Yanukovych may be opening to the idea of early presidential elections"?! No, no, this won't happen. Viktor Yanukovich has too much blood on his hands. He is a criminal. His place is in jail, not in the presidential palace.

    February 21, 2014 at 2:56 am | Reply
  7. Jay

    I don't understand this barbarian country: if majority of people wants to dismiss their president in democratical way, they may collect the signatures or other variant. But I can see only two reasons: there are no majority aganst president dismiss and there are no democratical process in this country

    February 21, 2014 at 3:37 am | Reply
    • Kirill

      Sure you can’t understand as you cannot imagine the situation when whatever you collect signatures or anything else will go to recycle bin followed by laughing of authorities. You do not see the third and the main reason – total corruption and ignorance of any legal ways.

      February 21, 2014 at 3:42 am | Reply
      • Jay

        Suddenly you forget the principles of democracy, supremacy of law. If you've done the idle attempts colecting signatures – please legally describe facts of them and I beleive in total corruption.

        February 21, 2014 at 9:43 am |
    • Ukhaina

      As it is audible from this video for some it is work to overthrow the power

      February 21, 2014 at 4:55 am | Reply
      • Jay

        All the citizens of this coutry wear such ridiculous?

        February 21, 2014 at 9:49 am |
    • Baraka Abama from Kyiv

      It's not barbarian country, it's Ukraine! The biggest european country after Russia and you must respect us. You don't know our reality. I always respected USA but know I see that you hate all the world. Hope that not all americans are like you

      February 21, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  8. Kirill

    Oh, really, mr. ambassador? You might admit that there is no “his country” anymore and there is no any new future with such kind of proposals. What a shame to sound such as position after this person killed own citizens. Indeed Ukraine loosing friends fighting for freedom, but it is worth to loose than overlook such a “new future”

    February 21, 2014 at 3:43 am | Reply
  9. Америка Гавно

    Пішли ви нахуй, пидарюги американские

    February 21, 2014 at 5:48 am | Reply
  10. Поляк

    Охохо! Американцы ожидаемо не хотят иметь дел с поехавшими бомжами с Майдана. От Майданутых плохо пахнет, они месяц живут в своем Г, усрали весь город, да и просто дурачки лезущие с картонными щитами под пули. Кто будет об таких шкварится, тем боле что и нациков с правого сектора там полно – в Западной политике таким персонажам место у параши, а не за столом переговоров с властелином мира.

    Весь этот майдан – это просто повторение раскулачивания 30-х годов, когда украинские алкоголики вырезали и арестовали всю свою элиту, а потом дохли от голодомора, потому как не хотели работать. Давай Украина! Вырежь свою элиту и армию в очередной раз, потом привычно ляжете под иноземцев, вам не привыкать, ведь вы и так всю свою историю лежали под Турцией, Польшей и Россией по причине отсутствия своей элиты.

    February 21, 2014 at 6:10 am | Reply
  11. Nick Vognick

    Jef, you are drunk, go home.

    February 21, 2014 at 8:41 am | Reply
  12. yuriy

    Are you serious??? You want Yanukovich to stay president??? No way -he must be punished – may be as it was in Noth Korea...

    February 21, 2014 at 9:18 am | Reply
    • Поляк

      Лалка, вас поимели. Лидеры Майдана заключили договор с Януком, все эти смерти, ранения и страдания только для того чтобы протащить во власть несколько новых панов. Дурачки.

      В России похожее было в 1993-м году, все погибшие тогда активисты иначе чем идиоты сейчас не воспринимаются. Поэтому собственно говоря многие россияне и смотрели на этот ваш Евромайдан с иронией.

      February 21, 2014 at 9:31 am | Reply
  13. irrelevand

    Support to Ukraine!
    Support from Poland to Ukraine!
    Look for Ukraine appel:

    Fight for freedom!!!!! /Vstavaj mean Stand up!/

    Fight with russina dictatorship!
    Support opposition! NO to shooting with live rounds to opposition!
    Look what was happening:

    February 21, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Reply
    • SayNoFalse

      This is not a real special forces. Special Forces are not currently fighting in shoes and not wearing belts! That's what's really happening in Ukraine:

      February 25, 2014 at 9:44 am | Reply
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