EU sanctions as Ukraine burns

Kate McCann
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HOPES of a resolution to the growing crisis in Ukraine have faded with violent clashes claiming the lives of 75 people since Tuesday.

European leaders last night voted to impose sanctions on the country after talks between three EU foreign ministers and the Ukrainian government broke down without a resolution.

The sanctions include asset freezes, visa bans and the export of anti-riot equipment.

Foreign secretary William Hague confirmed the universal agreement of EU leaders on the sanctions last night.

“We call on all involved to turn away from violence,” he said. “But some people are responsible for the violence and so we have decided to introduce targeted measures and targeted sanctions involving visa bans and asset freezes on those individuals who are responsible.”

Last night the Prime Minister called on President Yanukovych to pull government troops out of Independence Square and de-escalate the situation.

His call came just hours after Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev urged Yanukovych to stand up to protesters and not be treated like a “doormat.”

Russia was due to release a $2bn aid package to Ukraine earlier this week, but the payment has been delayed.

US President Barack Obama yesterday issued travel bans against 20 members of the Ukrainian government, and last night officials confirmed further measures would be taken against those responsible for the violent crackdown on protesters, which left scores dead.

Markets around the world held relatively steady despite the clashes, which came as the IMF issued its briefing ahead of the G20 summit, warning of the volatility of emerging markets.

“With prospects improving, it will be critical to avoid a premature withdrawal of monetary policy accommodation, including in the US,” the IMF warned.

At the meeting in Sydney this weekend the world’s financial leaders will address the impact of US monetary policy on emerging markets, against a backdrop of increasing political tension in Ukraine, as well as Venezuela and Libya.

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