The United States and the European Union are prepared to place sanctions on Ukrainian officials who are responsible for deadly violence in Kiev, US Vice President Joe Biden and the European Union Foreign Affairs Council said Thursday.
Biden spoke to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Thursday afternoon, strongly condemning the violence against civilians.
Meanwhile, the European Union released a statement saying it had decided, “as a matter of urgency,” to introduce “targeted sanctions including asset freeze and visa ban against those responsible for human rights violations, violence and use of excessive force.”
The EU said it would suspend export licenses on equipment that might be used for internal repression and reassess export licenses for other equipment.
“The scale of implementation will be taken forward in the light of developments in Ukraine,” read the statement.
The EU also urged the Ukrainian government “to exercise maximum restraint and opposition leaders to distance themselves from those who resort to radical action, including violence,” as well as engage in a “meaningful dialogue” with the opposition.
At least 101 people have died this week in clashes between protesters and Ukrainian forces.
Biden has been the Obama administration’s prime contact with Yanukovych in recent days.
The White House said Biden urged Yanukovych to pull back security forces immediately. That includes snipers, police, military and paramilitary units and irregular forces.
The European Union has already imposed sanctions on those deemed responsible for the violence.
The White House says the US isn’t considering military options.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.