EU Sanctions on Ukrainians with “Blood on Their Hands” Imposed

Written by | Friday, February 21st, 2014

The European Union decided yesterday (20 February) to impose sanctions on those Ukrainians responsible for the current escalation of violence in the country. Specifically, Brussels is to freeze assets and impose a travel ban on those with “blood on their hands”, as Italy’s Foreign Minister Emma Bonino put it. According to another EU diplomat, the number of people on the “blacklist” will depend on further developments, but in any case there will be sanctions.
Given the worsening security situation in the country and the inability of the government and President Yanukovych to handle demonstrations and clashes, there had been articulate calls for sanctions against those who can be held responsible for the bloody violence. As a result, the EU yesterday expressed its unified political commitment to punitive measures. Today (21 February), EU officials moreover start working on establishing the “blacklist” of Ukrainians deemed responsible for human rights violations, escalation of violence, and excessive use of force. Foreign Minister Bonino further commented that sanctions would be imposed rapidly in the next hours, which is in fact an outcome of the Ukraine crisis talks with the Polish (Radoslaw Sikorski), French (Laurent Fabius), and German (Walter Steinmeier) foreign ministers.
The trio held several hours of negotiations with President Yanukovych and three opposition leaders. All parties agreed on parliamentary and presidential elections to take place by the end of this year, which is sooner than originally planned. Moreover, it was agreed that both coalition and opposition representatives should start working on a cabinet of “national unity” in the next 10 days as well as make amendments to the constitution by this summer. On the positive side, the EU has also agreed to provide the country with medical assistance and visas to both dissidents and the injured as well as to suspend the export of anti-riot equipment.

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