US revokes visas for 'several Ukrainians' over violence: embassy
The United States has revoked the visas of several Ukrainian nationals linked to violence in Kiev, the US embassy said Wednesday after two protesters were killed during clashes with police.
"In response to actions taken against protestors on the Maidan in November and December of last year, the US Embassy has revoked the visas of several Ukrainians who were linked to the violence," the embassy in Kiev said in a statement.
"We are considering further action against those responsible for the current violence," the embassy said, adding that US law ensured the sanctioned individuals' confidentiality because their visa records were not part of the public domain.
Violence in Ukraine rapidly escalated Wednesday after two months of demonstrations in central Kiev over the government's refusal to sign a key pact with the EU and instead allying closer with former master Russia.
Ukraine's prosecutors said Wednesday that two protesters have died from bullet wounds -- the first deaths in clashes between police and protesters which have turned the Ukrainian capital into a virtual war zone.
The United States last week confirmed that sanctions against key officials were being discussed, with Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland saying that "all tools of government are on the table".
US Senator Bob Menendez warned that US lawmakers may not "wait for the State Department to look at sanctions and visa revocations" and pass relevant legislation against government officials who "act against its citizens".
© 2014 AFP