US imposes visa restrictions, property ban over Ukraine

Washington, March 6: The US is putting in place visa restrictions and moving to freeze US assets of those involved in Russia’s move on Ukraine, the White House said Thursday.

The visa restrictions on a number of unspecified officials and individuals reflects the US decision to deny visas to those “responsible for or complicit in threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Xinhua quoted the White House as saying in a statement.

In an executive order, US President Barack Obama also authorised sanctions on individuals and entities responsible for such actions.

While putting in place the sanctions, the US seeks to work with all parties to achieve a diplomatic solution that de-escalates the situation and restores Ukraine’s sovereignty, the statement added.

The latest move came after previous actions the US took in response to the crisis in Ukraine, including suspending bilateral discussions with Russia on trade and investment and putting on hold US-Russia military-to-military engagement.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called events in Ukraine a coup and argued that the use of force was Russia’s last resort to solving the ongoing crisis.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov reaffirmed Russia’s position Wednesday that an EU-brokered agreement signed Feb 21, which foresaw constitutional reform that would take into account the wishes of all Ukraine regions, should be the basis for stabilising the situation.

The US also agreed with other G7 nations to suspend for the time being their participation in activities associated with the preparation of the scheduled G-8 Summit in Sochi of Russia in June.

IANS