(QHA) -

The US state department has said it is considering all options, including sanctions, towards Ukraine as the political crisis there continues, BBC informs.

It follows attempts by riot police to dislodge anti-government protesters from their strongholds in the capital.

US officials say the Ukrainian Defence Minister Pavlo Lebedyev said his government would not use the army against the protesters.

Interior ministry officials said the reason why scores of riot police swept into the Independence Square protest camp was to clear the street for traffic. To many observers it seemed that the overwhelming show of force was instead an attempt to drive out the protesters once and for all.

“We are considering policy options... sanctions are included but I am not going to outline specifics”, said state department spokesperson Jen Psaki. There is a range of options that we are open to, but we are not at that point at this stage."

As we earlier reported, the petition to impose personal sanctions on President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine members appeared on the White House official website on November 26. Only four days after it was launched, a petition has gathered more than 100,000 signatures online.