The United States and the European Union support the people of Ukraine as they seek a stronger democracy, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday, as a standoff with embattled President Viktor Yanukovich continues.

The people of Ukraine "are fighting for the right to associate with partners who will help them realize their aspirations - and they have decided that means their futures do not have to lie with one country alone, and certainly not coerced", Kerry said at the Munich Security Conference.

"The United States and EU stand with the people of Ukraine in that fight," he said.

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