Anti government protests in Ukraine
Protesters hold shields as they clash with riot police during on-going anti-government protests in downtown Kiev. (EPA)

Another Obama red line
Barack Obama weighed in on the violence in Ukraine today. The president condemned the violence and warned that “there will be consequences if people step over the line.”
And, when Obama says “consequences” he means “possible consequences.”
NBC News reported:

The president of Ukraine and the leader of the anti-government movement have agreed to a “truce” and “negotiations” aimed at bringing an end to the violence that has torn the country apart.

In a statement on his official website, President Viktor Yanukovych said his government and the opposition have agreed to “negotiations aimed at cessation of bloodshed and stabilization of the situation in the country for the sake of civil peace.”

Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko said in a statement on his website that both sides reached an agreement on the negotiations and that the next round of talks will be held tomorrow (Thursday).

The website quoted Klitschko as saying, “We have received assurances from Yanukovych that there would be no assault on Maidan (Independence Square). Literally, it means a truce. Today a key goal is to stop the bloodshed that authorities have provoked and unleashed. Now we will see how Yanukovych will stick to his word after promised sanctions from the West.”

The announcements — the first significant sign of progress since the anti-government protests began nearly three months ago — came just one day after brutal clashes between demonstrators and police left at least 26 people dead and nearly 250 injured.

Just a couple of hours earlier on Wednesday, President Barack Obama had condemned the violence in Ukraine, saying that the U.S. holds the government “primarily responsible for ensuring they are handling protesters peacefully” and that “there will be consequences if people step over the line.”

 

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