Kerry: No 'bidding war' over Ukraine choice

BRUSSELS (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Europe and its allies want to avoid a "bidding war" over Ukraine's controversial choice to turn away from closer Western ties.

In Brussels for a meeting of foreign ministers from NATO member states, Kerry pointed Tuesday to "unbelievable numbers" of demonstrators in Ukraine. They oppose a decision by President Viktor Yanukovych to set aside an agreement to deepen political and economic ties with the EU in favor of Russia.

A NATO statement condemned use of excessive force on peaceful demonstrators and called on all sides to avoid "provocations and violence." Ukraine is a partner of the Atlantic alliance. Kerry said NATO has no role to play — and is not contemplating one.

Protesters have showed no signs of letting up their protests.

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