EU to Impose Sanctions on Ukrainian Officials
European Union foreign ministers have agreed to impose sanctions on Ukrainian officials responsible for violence and excessive force.
In the official statement, they said that sanctions including asset freezes and visa bans would be introduced "as a matter of urgency".
Kiev's city health department said 67 people had been killed since Tuesday, which meant at least 39 died in Thursday's clashes. Officials said that one policeman had also died and that 67 police had been captured by protesters, the BBC reports.
"No circumstances can justify the repression we are currently witnessing," the statement from EU foreign ministers said.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton stated that the "prime responsibility" to begin talks between the two sides lays with President Viktor Yanukovych.
At the emergency meeting of EU foreign minsters in Brussels Thursday, ministers had expressed their "dismay" at the latest violence and had agreed to "suspend export licences for equipment for internal repression".
The EU has until now refrained from imposing sanctions on Ukraine, preferring to emphasise dialogue and compromise, the BBC reminds.
The US state department had already announced visa bans on 20 members of the Ukrainian government but has not provided any names.