Ban reiterated an appeal to all sides to refrain from violence and to "uphold the principles of democracy and human rights" as they go forward to create an atmosphere conducive to free and fair elections, spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

"The secretary-general, above all, calls for an inclusive political process that reflects the aspirations of all Ukrainians and preserves Ukraine's unity and territorial integrity."

Nesirky said Ban had sent senior adviser Robert Serry to Kiev where he met with parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchynov.

Serry conveyed Ban's commitment to assist a "Ukrainian-led governance process," he said.

Turchynov was named Ukraine's interim leader after the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych following three months of protests and bloodshed last week that claimed nearly 100 lives.

(Agencies)

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