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Brussels sources: EU ambassadors to consider more people for Ukraine-related sanctions

BRUSSELS - European Union ambassadors will meet Wednesday to consider increasing the number of people hit with EU asset freezes and travel bans for their actions against Ukraine's government, an EU source and a Brussels diplomat said.

The ambassadors on Monday "agreed in principle to proceed with additional targeted restrictive measures," an EU source with knowledge of the meeting said.

A diplomat from one of EU's largest member countries said the envoys will meet Wednesday to consider a list of specific names. Some of the proposed sanctions targets may be Russian officials but the bulk will likely be leaders of the pro-Russia insurgency in eastern Ukraine, he said.

The EU source and the diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to comment publicly on the sanctions issue.

To date, 61 individuals and two companies have been sanctioned by the EU for undermining Ukrainian sovereignty or participating in Russia's military occupation and annexation of Crimea, which both the EU and the U.S. have condemned as illegal and refused to recognize.

EU leaders at a June 27 summit in Brussels threatened more sanctions if the Russian government and pro-Moscow rebels in Ukraine didn't swiftly take a number of actions, including the launch of "substantial negotiations" on a peace plan proposed by Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko.

However, it is unclear whether the EU nations will decide to impose more sanctions at this time.

Although some of the June demands have not been met, the diplomat said, the insurgency in Ukraine's east has recently been losing ground, and Russia is evidently not aiding the rebels as much as it could. He said the EU ambassadors will take that larger picture into account when they discuss broadening the sanctions list on Wednesday.

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