BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union nations will be looking to give existing penalties against Russia more bite by the weekend rather than expanding sanctions to include sport events to punish Moscow for its involvement in the Ukraine crisis.
Several member states came out on Wednesday against the idea of taking action against Russia's high-profile sports events, such as its hosting of the 2018 World Cup, describing it as unrealistic at this stage.
The EU's executive Commission said in a statement that it offered proposals to the 28 member states to complement sanctions and center on "access to capital markets, defense, dual use goods, and sensitive technologies."
It would leave the member states to primarily toughen existing measures. The proposals will now be considered by member states and a decision is expected by late Friday.
The EU and the United States have so far imposed penalties against dozens of Russian officials and the financial and arms industry.
On Wednesday, the bloc's officials were looking at whether a ceasefire discussed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin would materialize, but there was no immediate indication that the fighting would stop.
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