At an emergency meeting in Brussels, the 28-nation organization imposed travel bans and asset freezes on officials who are “responsible for violence and excessive force.” Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt confirmed the sanctions on Twitter:
EU decides as a matter of urgency on asset freeze and visa ban on those responsible for violence and excessive force in Kiev.—
Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) February 20, 2014
At least 22 civilians died in clashes between protesters and government forces in Kiev on Thursday, and protest leaders say at least 70 have been killed. The renewed fighting quickly quelled hopes that a truce called Wednesday by President Viktor Yanukovych would hold. The United States is also considering sanctions against the Ukrainian government. President Barack Obama spoke out against the government’s violent response to the demonstrations on Wednesday.
PHOTOS: Deadly Protests Rage on in Kiev