Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) today released the following statement calling for targeted sanctions against Ukrainian persons who have committed, ordered, or materially supported acts of violence against peaceful citizens in Ukraine, or who are complicit in the rollback of Ukraine’s democracy:
“The recent violence in Ukraine is tragic and horrific. We condemn the crimes that have been committed and the loss of life that has occurred, including at the hands of some anti-government protesters. However, the ultimate responsibility for the deteriorating situation in Ukraine lies with the Yanukovich government. It has refused to take meaningful, timely steps to resolve the country’s political and economic crisis through dialogue, while making opaque deals for Russian financing as a means of avoiding necessary reforms. The government has escalated tensions, cracked down on peaceful demonstrators, and taken up arms against its citizens.
“We have consistently made it clear, including during our joint visit to Kyiv in December 2013, that there must be consequences for the escalation of violence in Ukraine. Unfortunately, that time has now come.
“We have begun working together on legislation that would impose targeted sanctions on government officials and other persons who have committed, ordered, or materially supported acts of violence against peaceful citizens in Ukraine, or who are complicit in the rollback of Ukraine’s democracy. These sanctions should not, and will not, target the people or the country of Ukraine as a whole. Instead, they will be narrowly focused on those individuals who must be held accountable for violating human rights and undermining democracy. We remain in contact with the Administration and look forward to working together on this legislation.”