Jan. 31 - U.S. President Obama says ''There has to be a way to restructure the Ukrainian government,'' in an online chat event hosted by Google. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Amid widespread demonstrations in Ukraine, U.S. President Barack Obama in an online chat hosted by Google says the government needs to be restructured. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "There has to be a way to restructure the Ukrainian government in a way that allows the voices of the opposition , and those folks on the streets to be heard in preparation for some sort of democratic process that creates a government with greater legitimacy and unity." Violence on the streets exploded after the government did an about face on a trade deal with the EU ion favor of Russia. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "The people of Ukraine are clearly looking clearly are looking to Europe and the West as a partner in a more free more free market-based economy. Obviously they have strong historic ties to Russia as well as a lot of commercial relationships with Russia and those don't need to be sacrificed, but what I think the people if Ukraine do not want to see and this is evidenced by what has happened on the streets is a situation where behind closed doors their aspirations for a more free society and one that is integrated with Europe more closely that that is foreclosed." On Friday Ukraine's President signed into law an amnesty for demonstrators detained during mass unrest, but it's not likely to be to end the protests on the streets.