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EU delays signing off on new Russia sanctions

A volunteer of the Ukrainian paramilitary Azov battalion on the outskirts of Mariupol, September 5, 2014.
Philippe Desmazes | AFP | Getty Images
A volunteer of the Ukrainian paramilitary Azov battalion on the outskirts of Mariupol, September 5, 2014.

European Union governments delayed signing off on a new package of sanctions against Russia over its involvement in Ukraine on Monday because some governments want to discuss how to suspend the sanctions if a Ukraine cease-fire holds, diplomats said.

EU envoys were due to meet again at 6 p.m. (1600 GMT) in Brussels to decide whether the sanctions - agreed in principle on Friday - should be first implemented and then suspended if the ceasefire holds or whether they should not be implemented at all at this stage, they said.

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While the discussions appear largely procedural, many countries opposed to further punishment of Moscow for sending troops into Ukraine see it as an opportunity to block the package and avoid retaliatory measures from Russia, diplomats said.

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