Vice President Biden warned that the United States was prepared to sanction government officials responsible for the violence in the streets of Kiev during a phone call Thursday with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Biden called on Yanukovych to immediately pull back police, snipers, military and paramilitary units, and "strongly condemned" the violence ravaging the country, according to the White House.


"The vice president urged President Yanukovych to take immediate and tangible steps to work with the opposition on a path forward that addresses the legitimate aspirations of the Ukrainian people," the White House said in a statement.

Separately, ABC News reported Thursday the Obama administration was readying a package of sanctions that could be implemented as early as Friday. According to the network, the sanctions would directly target individuals within the Ukrainian government and would mirror in some ways penalties enforced against members of the Iranian regime.

White House officials told ABC the administration will specifically name the individuals subject to the sanctions. Earlier this week, the State Department imposed travel restrictions against 20 unnamed individuals in the Ukrainian government.

The move would come as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle said they would push for penalties against Ukrainian officials when Congress reconvenes next week.

Biden and President Obama worked the phones Thursday, consulting with European allies on the broadening crisis. Obama spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Biden consulted with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

The European Union moved earlier Thursday to impose sanctions against members of the Ukrainian government, according to multiple media reports.

The Ukrainian health ministry says 75 people have died in clashes between protesters and government forces since violence erupted in the capital earlier this week, according to the BBC.

Foreign ministers and opposition leaders were meeting with Yanukovych Thursday evening in hopes of charting a path forward that could stop the violence.

"There is no agreement for now, the negotiations are very difficult, and we are working to reach a peaceful solution," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters, according to the CBC.

"We have to find every way to see how we can put a new government in place, think about elections and see how we can end the violence, but at this moment there is no solution," Fabius said.