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Senior US diplomat to visit Ukraine

US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns speaks following a meeting with Tunisia's new Prime minister in Tunis on February 1, 2014The second most senior US diplomat, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, will visit Kiev Tuesday to support the new Ukrainian leadership and call for swift political and economic reform. The trip was first mentioned by a US diplomat on Friday, indicating it was planned before a chaotic weekend that saw now ousted president Viktor Yanukovych go into hiding. No high-ranking US official was in the ex-Soviet republic over the past few days or last week, when three months of protests over Yanukovych’s decision to spurn an historic pact with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia culminated in days of carnage. In Kiev, Burns “will consult with key Ukrainian leaders, the business community, and civil society on US support for Ukraine’s efforts to secure a stable, democratic, inclusive, prosperous future,” the State Department said.

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