WASHINGTON, February 19 (RIA Novosti) – The United States will coordinate with European partners over possible sanctions against individuals Washington deems responsible for the surge of violence in Ukraine that has left dozens of people dead, a senior White House official said Wednesday.
“We have made it clear we would consider taking action against individuals who are responsible for acts of violence within Ukraine,” Ben Rhodes, the White House’s deputy national security adviser, told the presidential press pool aboard Air Force One. “We have a toolkit for doing that that includes sanctions.”
US President Barack Obama was expected to discuss the explosion of violence in Ukraine with other world leaders and to make public comments on the situation Wednesday, a day after 25 people died and more than a thousand were injured in clashes between riot police and anti-government demonstrators.
“Events like what we saw yesterday are clearly going to impact our decision making,” Rhodes said.
He added, however, that if Ukrainian authorities relent, free prisoners and engage in talks with the opposition, “that would obviously factor into our calculus as well,” according to a transcript from the White House press pool.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that American officials are “deeply disturbed” by the deadly unrest in Ukraine.
“We are talking about the possibility of sanctions or other steps with our friends in Europe and elsewhere in order to try to create the environment for compromise,” Kerry said in Paris during an appearance with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.