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US Congress ready to introduce sting sanctions against Ukrainian officials

February 11, 2014, 7:58 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

A total of 381 members of the house voted for the resolutions and only two voted against it

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© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze

WASHINGTON, February 11, 7:35 /ITAR-TASS/. U.S. Congress is prepared to introduce sting sanctions against the Ukrainian officials responsible for the use of force against the participants in “actions of protests” in Kiev at the end of last year, says a resolution that the House of Representatives endorsed Monday night.

A total of 381 members of the house voted for the resolutions and only two voted against it.

The resolution voices support to what the Representatives believe to be democratic and European aspirations of the people of Ukraine and its right to choosing a future without intimidation or fear.

Its authors urge the U.S. and the EU to continue a joint search for a peaceful way out of the crisis and to continue supporting the willingness of millions of Ukrainians to establish closer relations with Europe “through the signing of an Association Agreement.”

The resolution contains a call to the government of Ukraine, the opposition and all the participants in the actions of protest to avoid confrontation and appeals to the Ukrainian authorities to display commitment to their international obligations and to respect the democratic rights on the Ukrainian people.

Along with this, the House of Representatives claims that the government of Ukraine should “bring to justice those responsible for violence against peaceful protesters and to release and drop criminal charges against those detained for exercising their democratic rights.”

It also warns that “in the event of further violence by government authorities against peaceful protesters the House of Representatives may consider targeted sanctions against those who authorize or engage in this use of force.”

Mass riots on Kiev’s Independence Square /the Maidan/ and the adjoining areas of the city, as well as seizures of administrative buildings in other cities, mostly in the western and central regions of the country where the parties representing the incumbent political oppositions enjoy broad popularity, have been going on since the end of last November when the Ukrainian government put brake on the signing of the so-called Association Agreement with the EU.

The document was expected to open the doors for Ukraine to full membership of the bloc at an unspecified moment in the future. Top-rank Ukrainian officials explained for their decision to postpone the signing until a later date by the need of an additional scrutiny of some provisions of the agreement and reviewing its pros and cons from an economic angle.

Ukrainian economics experts said, among other things, that the adoption and assimilation of an assortment of EU standards by the national economy might require up to 160 billion euro over the next five years, while Ukraine had problems with repayments of far smaller amounts of money.

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