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EU ambassadors approve expansion of blacklist for Russia, Ukraine

Ambassadors of the EU countries have approved the expansion of blacklist for Russia and Ukraine by including 15 individuals and 18 companies, a diplomatic source said on Thursday.

The ambassadors of 28 countries of the European Union on Thursday held at a plenary meeting of the EU Committee at the level of permanent representatives on the issue of the expansion of the "black list" for Russia and Ukraine and "a set of restrictive measures, prepared by the European Commission," EC spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen said.

The EU Council press service said the names were likely to be known on Friday, July 25 after they were made public in the EU's Official Journal.

At present, the EU blacklist includes 72 names, including Russian politicians and officials, leaders of militia in the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics.

On July 22, the participants in the EU Council meeting at the level of foreign ministers adopted a statement, in which again demanded from Russia to influence the Ukrainian people's militia fighters to ensure access to the site of the Malaysian Boeing airliner crash and provide assistance to the international investigation. They also put forward the demand to ensure "concrete measures for a quick and efficient de-escalation of the situation in Ukraine," including to "withdraw [Russia's] troops from the border." Otherwise, new sanctions will be imposed on Moscow, the ministers warned.

On Tuesday, the EU Council failed to adopt any specific measures against Russia, only arriving at the conclusion on the need to intensify the work to expand the "black list" that will be made public on Thursday. The EU agreed to accelerate the work on the expansion of the "black list" [for Russia and Ukraine] based on new criteria. It will be done shortly.

[Source: Itar Tass, Brussels, 24Jul14]

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