TOLUCA, Mexico, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Visiting U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday condemned violence in Ukraine, warning of consequences if violence continues in the east European country.
Obama on Wednesday traveled to Mexico to attend the North American Leaders' Summit which is held in Toluca, a city in central Mexico. "We have been deeply engaged with our European partners as well as the Ukrainian government and the opposition to try to ensure that violence ends," Obama said shortly after arriving in Toluca.
He told reporters before a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto that he condemns violence in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, in the strongest terms and said he believes it is still possible for a peaceful solution.
According to the Ukrainian Health Ministry, at least 26 people were killed during the violence in Kiev that erupted Tuesday and continued into the early hours of Wednesday. The confrontation also left 263 protesters and 342 officers injured.
The unrest marked the latest wave of clashes between demonstrators and police in the almost three-month-long political standoff, which began last November as peaceful demonstrations calling for the country's European integration.
"I want to be very clear as we work through these next several days in Ukraine that we're going to be watching closely, and we expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protestors," Obama said. "We' ve also said we expect peaceful protestors to remain peaceful and we'll be monitoring very closely the situation, recognizing that with our European partners and the international community there will be consequences if people step over the line."
Earlier Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Paris that the U.S. government is considering sanctions in response to escalating clashes between police and anti-government demonstrators in Kiev.
"All of us are deeply disturbed," said Kerry during a brief appearance in Paris. "We are talking about the possibility of sanctions or other steps with our friends in Europe and elsewhere in order to try to create the environment for compromise."