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EU preparing to impose Ukraine sanctions on Thursday: France

US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, meets with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius about the ongoing violence in Ukraine on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Paris. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, Pool)

PARIS: French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Thursday that the European Union was preparing to impose targeted sanctions against those behind Ukraine's violence.

Speaking to Europe 1 radio from Ukraine before meeting with President Viktor Yanukovych, Fabius said he would present plans for sanctions against certain officials, including visa bans and the freezing of assets.

"We need to hit people in the pocketbooks in these cases," said Fabius, who was joined in Ukraine for the talks by his German and Polish counterparts, ahead of a meeting of all EU foreign ministers later Thursday.

"I will tell him (Yanukovych) that he must stop the violence, which is obviously unacceptable, and that we are preparing this afternoon to take sanctions against those responsible for the violence," Fabius said.

He expressed doubts over the willingness of Ukraine's government to compromise.

"There is an enormous amount of work to do but we are confronted with the obvious unwillingness of the authorities, who for now are not budging."

In a separate interview with France's BFMTV, Fabius said his goal was to move Ukrainian authorities toward holding elections.

"There is no other solution but to move toward elections, the people must be turned to," he said.

 

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