U.S. threatens sanctions against Ukraine

Dec. 12, 2013 at 2:09 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department threatened sanctions against Ukraine over its use of riot police in a crackdown against anti-government demonstrators.

"All policy options, including sanctions, are on the table in our view," department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a news briefing.

She would not say what types of punitive sanctions the Obama administration was considering.

"I'm not going to get into specifics of that. We're considering policy options. There obviously hasn't been a decision made. Sanctions are included, but I'm not going to outline more specifics," Psaki said.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych deployed hundreds of shield-wielding riot police against thousands of political protesters, clashing with demonstrators, before pulling them out 10 hours later.

Opposition leaders Wednesday rejected the president's offer of talks, saying they will not sit down with him until he fires his government and releases all arrested demonstrators.

The dispute started with Yanukovych's last-minute decision to reject an agreement with the European Union and instead seek closer economic ties to Russia.

Ukraine faces a default in early 2014 if it cannot secure financial assistance.

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