25 July 2014
Last updated at 17:14
A pro-Russian fighter: Clashes continue near the rebel stronghold of Donetsk
The EU has added 15 individuals and 18 entities to its sanctions list targeting Russians linked to the separatist uprising in eastern Ukraine.
The names are expected to be announced shortly in the EU Official Journal.
The number of Russians subject to EU asset freezes and travel bans now totals 87. Two energy firms in Crimea were already on the list, but 18 other entities have now been added.
Western leaders accuse Russia of arming the pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine.
The crash of a Malaysia Airlines jet in rebel-held eastern Ukraine a week ago – believed to have been caused by a rebel missile strike – fuelled calls for tougher EU action.
Russia has denied allegations by Ukraine and Western leaders that it has supplied heavy weapons to the rebels. And the rebels denied shooting down the airliner, instead blaming Ukrainian forces.
The EU says it is targeting those who “actively support or are benefiting from Russian decision makers responsible for the annexation of Crimea or the destabilisation of eastern Ukraine”.
The EU is also considering a range of technologies that could be restricted, in further measures against Russia.
Reuters news agency says EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy has sent a letter to EU leaders specifying that such measures should only affect the Russian oil sector, not gas, because of Europe’s need for energy security.
Many EU countries rely heavily on imports of Russian gas.