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20 February, 2014 04:40   ▪  

US imposes visa bans against Ukrainian top officials

On February 19, the US imposed visa bans on senior Ukrainian government officials believed to be responsible for a violent crackdown by riot police against protesters, a senior State Department official said, as quoted by Reuters

"Today we moved to restrict visas to some 20 senior members of the Ukrainian government and other individuals we consider responsible for ordering human rights abuses related to political oppression in Ukraine," a senior State Department official told Reuters on condition of anonimity. "These individuals represent the full chain of command we consider responsible for ordering the security forces to move against."

These bans could be lifted if the conditions in Ukraine improved, the official said.

The EU has also reported intentions to impose targeted sanctions against those responsible for the violence, Reuters reports. Foreign Ministers from Germany, France and Poland are going to Kyiv on February 20. On February 19, an emergency EU meeting regarding sanctions took place in Brussels.  

U.S. officials have warned that Washington is prepared to slap financial sanctions on government officials if the violence escalates, Reuters reports.

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