Deadly clashes in Ukraine spur talks of international sanctions

Anti-government protesters clash with the police during their storming of Independence Square in Kiev on February 18, 2014. Photo by Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images

Violent and deadly clashes in Ukraine have earned several calls for action from Western nations.

The United States, Reuters reports, urged Ukraine’s government to pull its riot police from Independence Square in the country’s capital of Kiev, where dozens were killed in violent clashes between protesters and law enforcement Tuesday. White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said that the U.S. wants the Ukrainian government to call a truce with the protesters and hold discussions with the government opposition.

Several European Union states are also considering sanctions against Ukrainian officials. The foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland will travel to Kiev Thursday in order to examine the situation in the capital and determine if sanctions are necessary before a meeting in Brussels. If sanctioned by the EU, Ukraine officials’ assets would be frozen and they would be forbidden travelling anywhere within the 28 nations that make up the union.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. was also in the discussion of sanctions against, but said there was still time to reach a compromise. “President Yanukovich has the opportunity to make a choice,” said Kerry. “The choice is between protecting the people that he serves … and (the) choice for compromise and dialogue versus violence and mayhem.”

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