WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said on Wednesday it is considering all options, including sanctions, toward Ukraine, where riot police moved against demonstrators overnight after weeks of protests against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.
“All policy options, including sanctions, are on the table, in our view, but obviously that still is being evaluated,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters, declining to specify what kinds of sanctions may be under consideration.
“We’re considering policy options. There obviously hasn’t been a decision made. Sanctions are included. But I am not going to outline more specifics,” Psaki said.
The United States criticized Ukrainian authorities for sending in riot police, who have since withdrawn, against demonstrators angry at Yanukovich for having bowed to pressure from Moscow and spurned a free trade deal with the European Union.
The authorities overnight made their most forceful attempt so far to reclaim the streets, sending in battalions of riot police with bulldozers to clear Independence Square in Kiev. There were scuffles and arrests, but police did not enter the nearby City Hall and by morning they withdrew from the streets.
Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Vicki Allen