Obama to Consult Harper, Nieto on Sections against Ukrainian Leaders

Senior officials have indicated that U.S. President Barack Obama will seek support of Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, and discuss the possibility of imposing sanctions on key Ukrainian officials due to increased violence in Kiev that has left dozens of pro-democracy protesters dead. While the three world leaders plan to meet in Toluca, Mexico, for a Three Amigos summit on Wednesday, Mr. Harper and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto are anticipated to be approached by the U.S. President to present a united front against Ukrainian figures, along with the European Union.

The President’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, mentioned in a statement that “we have made it clear we would consider taking action against individuals who are responsible for acts of violence within Ukraine.” He further elaborated that “we have a toolkit for doing that that includes sanctions.” Additionally, Mr. Rhodes claimed that he believes threats of sanctions targeting individuals will be sufficient to curb the violence and abuses, though he said that if Ukrainian government changes its intention, release prisoners and pursues dialogue with the opposition, “that would obviously factor into our calculus as well.”

Mr. Obama is anticipated to address the worsening violence in Ukraine in a speech scheduled on Wednesday. Whereas the spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office, Jason MacDonald, confirmed that Canada is considering “all options” to address growing violence in Ukraine, including targeted sanctions. He further elaborated in an e-mail that “we’re not going to pre-empt any discussions that may take place this afternoon.”

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