EU Foreign Ministers Agree To Impose Sanctions on Ukrainian Officials

Credit: YanniKouts / Foter / CC BYCredit: YanniKouts / Foter / CC BYEuropean Union foreign ministers have agreed to impose sanctions on Ukrainian officials they deem "responsible for violence and excessive force." According to Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, the sanctions include travel bans as well as asset freezes. The news comes a day after it was reported that the U.S. was imposing visa restrictions on 20 Ukrainian officials.

Anti-government protesters say that at least 100 protesters have been killed today, and the Ukrainian Interior Ministry claims that 67 police have been captured by protesters in Kiev. Two members of Ukraine’s Winter Olympics team have decided to pull out of the games in support of protesters.

In the U.S., Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have come out in favor of targeted sanctions. Yesterday, President Obama said that there could be “consequences” to the violence.

Russia has denounced the latest European and American responses to the Ukraine crisis, saying that they amounted to a blackmailing of the Ukrainian government.

The French, German, and Polish foreign ministers spoke with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych today. According to AFP, the Polish prime minister has said that Yanukovych is willing to hold early elections.

Yesterday, Obama said the following about the U.S.-Russia relationship:

Our approach as the United States is not to see these [conflicts] as some Cold War chessboard, in which we’re at competition with Russia. Our goal is to make sure that the people of Ukraine are able to make decisions for themselves about their future, that the people of Syria are able to make decisions without having bombs going off and killing women and children, or chemical weapons, or towns being starved because a despot wants to cling to power.

The Obama administration may want to make sure that when it comes to Ukraine, unlike Syria, Obama follows through on his previous statements. After the Assad regime used chemical weapons, thereby crossing the so-called “red line” mentioned by Obama, the retaliation was a deal relating to Syria’s chemical weapons agreed to with Russia. Since then the Syrian government, which is supported by Russia, has continued to wage war.

More from Reason.com on the situation in Ukraine here

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  • Tman||

    And after that? A STERNLY WORDED LETTER FROM THE UN!!

  • Almanian!||

    I can't believe we're not sending in every available troop, tanks, airplanes, troop transports, MASH units, ICBMs, and...anything else we have.

    Cause GLOBAL WAR ON EVERYTHING.

    /Jon Bolton/John McCain/et al/ad mauseum

  • Brett L||

    I think we should do what Americans do best: Sneak Attack. While everyone is watching Sochi, we go for it, Dr. Strangelove style.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    I think targeted sanctions against the actual perpetrators of violence against innocents is appropriate in this kind of situation. I do think it's incumbent on the governments imposing sanctions to justify them with evidence though. Now, why can't that limited approach be taken elsewhere?

  • Tman||

    The sanctions are not going to matter if Putin offsets them with straight cash.

    Which he is already doing.

    I am not proposing military intervention, but sanctions never work, see: Iran, Iraq, Syria, etc...

  • CampingInYourPark||

    The sanctions are not going to matter if Putin offsets them with straight cash.

    Well, they probably do matter to Putin, or whomever he steals from to replace his funds. Some of the things proposed like visa restrictions, for instance, can't be replaced.

    It might be little more than a shunning, but at least it's something.

  • 110 Lean||

    Our approach as the United States is not to see these [conflicts] as some Cold War chessboard, in which we’re at competition with Russia.

    Because Putin would kick my ass.

    Our goal is to make sure that the people of Ukraine are able to make decisions for themselves about their future that the people of Syria are able to make decisions

    Unlike here in the USA.

    without having bombs going off and killing women and children, or chemical weapons, or towns being starved because a despot wants to cling to power

    Only I can do that.

    Wow! Both lies and projection in one little paragraph.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Because Putin would kick my ass.

    This is what I came here to say.

  • GILMORE||

    Our approach as the United States is not to see these [conflicts] as some Cold War chessboard, in which we’re at competition with Russia. Our goal is to make sure that the people of Ukraine are able to make decisions for themselves about their future

    The fact that the administration sees no problem in the inherent contradiction of pretending to be "neutral", yet insisting somehow that your opinion is relevant, is yet again an example of what I mean by the Obama admin's "Foreign Policy of having No Foreign Policy"

    Do you support the Opposition, Obama? No? Well, don't expect them to show you much love if they take power.

    Do you support the current pro-Russian regime? No. Don't expect them to show you any love regardless of your 'neutral' talk. They'd be happier if you shut the fuck up and dangled.

    No winners! and declining credibility for any future 'partners' we claim to be willing to express 'support' for. Because they will see this and go, "these fuckers wont even take sides".

    For people who always insist that the idea Libertarian foreign policy is 'non-intervention'... the only acceptable posture here would be, I assume, say nothing? Or is Obama already doing a bang up job on that front?

  • Almanian!||

    Belated congrats on winning "The Independents" last night.

  • GILMORE||

    What?

    I didn't even watch. Wha happen?

  • GILMORE||

    Ah, I see I have again out-hated this hateful crew of haters. To which I can only say:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N5p8IXzNdc

    "I hate you, I hate you, I don't even know you, and I hate your guts, and I hope all the bad things in life happen to you, and nobody else but you"

    PEACE

    ....no, really, I hope they repost the 2mins hate. I missed it and have no idea what choice bits of hate were appreciated by so many.

    I also see lady B got the nod, for what I can only assume was the "Kmele/face vagina" comment, which WON THE INTERNET the moment it was made.

    I believe the score is now 3 for both me and Epi, which does not bode well. If my mutilated body is ever found, please have me cremated and sprinkled over Yucca Mountain. If all goes well, I will be reincarnated as some giant radioactive monster and I promise to destroy San Francisco first.

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