(WASHINGTON) — The Obama administration is putting together a package of sanctions the president could put in place as soon as Thursday night, but more likely Friday, ABC News has learned.
These sanctions would directly target individuals in the Ukrainian government believed to be responsible for the violence unfolding in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. The sanctions would include freezing assets and measures designed to cut these individuals off from the international banking system. The measures would be similar to those imposed over the past several years on individuals in the Iranian government.
Unlike the visa/travel restrictions imposed Wednesday on 20 unnamed members of the Ukrainian government, the administration will name names, White House officials said.
The White House did not say whether President Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday, but that there are high-level contacts between the U.S. and Russia on the situation in Ukraine.
The Russians have denounced the sanctions imposed by the European Union earlier Thursday and are expected to react similarly when U.S. sanctions are imposed.
President Obama has consulted with allies on the situation in Ukraine, calling German Chancellor Angela Merkel today, White House officials said. Vice President Joe Biden apparently continued his outreach to Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych, speaking to him today for the third time in two weeks, according to the White House.
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