Three foreign ministers from the EU are in talks again with President Viktor Yanukovych on finding a way out of Ukraine’s crisis.
France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius described the talks in Kyiv as “very difficult.”
Fabius, along with the foreign ministers of Germany and Poland, arrived in the Ukrainian capital earlier on February 20 for talks with both the opposition and government.
After meeting with opposition leaders, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said progress was being made on a proposed road map to ease the crisis, which diplomats say would include forming a temporary government.
The EU foreign ministers will continue negotiations on February 21.
Meanwhile, the White House has urged Ukraine’s president on Thursday to immediately withdraw security forces from downtown Kyiv and respect the right of peaceful protest after a truce fell apart there and the death toll mounted.
“We are outraged by images of Ukrainian security forces firing automatic weapons on their own people,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.
Carney also urged protesters to “express themselves peacefully.”
The White House statement called for a dialogue between the government and protesters.