IN THE SPOTLIGHT
EU calles for sanctions towards Ukrainian officials
EU foreign ministers last night agreed to introduce targeted sanctions against those responsible for the violent crackdown in Ukraine, saying the EU was appalled and deeply dismayed by the deteriorating situation. Meeting in an extraordinary session of the European Council in Brussels, ministers condemned all use of violence, stressing that those responsible for grave human rights violations should be brought to justice.
Amid the worsening situation in Ukraine, the EU has decided to introduce “targeted sanctions including asset freeze and visa ban against those responsible for human rights violations, violence and use of excessive force.” Member states agreed to suspend export licences on equipment which might be used for internal repression.
The Council asked the relevant working bodies in the Council to make the necessary preparations immediately, adding the scope of implementation would be decided in the light of developments in Ukraine.
Foreign ministers called for “an immediate end to the violence, full respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right of access to medical assistance, and for urgent independent investigations into Human Rights violations, notably through the Council of Europe International Advisory Panel.” Ministers urged the Ukrainian government to abide by its obligations under international Human Rights instruments to which it is a State party. (EU Neighbourhood Info Centre)