Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych discussed the possibility of new elections and a new constitution with three EU foreign ministers as their colleagues in Brussels agreed to introduce immediate sanctions.
In a hard hitting statement issued after a three-hour emergency meeting of ministers, they agreed that “the prime responsibility for the current situation, and for taking the first step to enable a dialogue, lies squarely with President Yanukovych and the Ukrainian authorities”.
Bank accounts and any property owned by a yet unknown number of senior people deemed responsible for the deaths and violation of human rights will be frozen and they will be refused visas to travel to the EU in an effort to increase pressure on them by making them international pariahs.
A range of equipment used by police and security forces to attack and control demonstrators will be banned from being exported to Ukraine, including helmets, anti-riot shields, firearms, ammunition, bombs and grenades, etc.
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said they were all appalled and deeply dismayed by the situation in Ukraine and were united in their determination to bring those responsible for the deaths and human rights violations to justice.
The White House expressed renewed outrage over the continuing deadly violence in Ukraine but has not yet reached a decision on whether to impose sanctions.
Military action by the US is not among the options being considered, deputy spokesman Josh Earnest said. “The options available to the president are being considered with some urgency,” he said.
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