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EU ambassadors to continue work on sanctions against Russia next week

Ambassadors of the 28 member-states of the EU are expected to continue work on the sanctions next week, an official at the press service of the EU Council told ITAR-TASS.

In the light of the events unfolding in Ukraine, representatives of the EU nations exchanged opinions on what sanctions could be applied in this situation in the future and this work will continue next week, too.

In the meantime, a diplomat accredited with a mission of an East-European country told ITAR-TASS the EU members have not ironed out disagreements on a further expansion of sanctions against Russia.

"A number of member-states have apprehensions regarding the reversibility of financial economic sanctions against Russia, should any such sanctions be endorsed," the diplomat said commenting on a conference of EU ambassadors in Brussels around the situation in Ukraine.

The diplomat said the issue of a third phase of sanctions (financial and economic ones targeting whole sectors of Russian economy) will be put up for discussion at a session of EU Foreign Ministers who are due to get together in Brussels May 12.

The diplomat did not rule out the EU would expand the list of Russian officials who would be subjected to punitive restrains in the form of travel visa bans and freezing of assets on the territories of the member states.

Diplomatic sources in Brussels indicate that Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, and Spain raise objections against the application of financial and economic sanctions to Russia.

April 28, the EU Council endorsed a prolongation of the list of Russian individuals who are denied entry of EU countries and who may face a freezing of their assets at Western banks, should any such deposits be tracked down there.

The newly added group includes ten Russian citizens and five leaders of antifascist resistance forces in Eastern Ukraine. Thus the number of individuals affected by the EU sanctions to-date stands at 58

Brussels claimed Moscow had not taken enough practical steps under the April 17 Geneva accords on defusing the crisis in Ukraine. EU also accused Moscow of an escalation of tensions on the Ukrainian territory, although it did not cite any proofs of Russia's wielding influence on the moods and actions of the protesting population in the southeast of Ukraine.

[Source: Itar Tass, Brussels, 01May14]

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