(Combines UKRAINE-NULAND/REBUKE, adds more comments)
KIEV, Dec 11 (Reuters) - The United States believes it is possible to save Ukraine's "European future" and President Viktor Yanukovich must lead the way, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said on Wednesday.
After talks with Yanukovich that lasted more than two hours, she told reporters: "We also made clear that we believe there is a way out for Ukraine and it is still possible to save Ukraine's European future, and that's what we want to see the president lead, and that's going to require immediate security steps."
Nuland, who spoke to protesters in Kiev's central Independence Square earlier on Wednesday, also said she had complained to Yanukovich about police moves against protesters overnight.
Scores of riot police moved against demonstrators during the night, triggering fears among opposition leaders that they would crush a protest over Yanukovich's decision to spurn an EU trade deal and move Ukraine further into Russia's orbit.
"I made it absolutely clear to him that what happened last night ... is absolutely impermissible in a European state and in a democratic state," she said, describing talks with Yanukovich as "tough" but "realistic". (Reporting by Richard Balmforth, writing by Elizabeth Piper, editing by Timothy Heritage)