The European Union is adopting tough new economic sanctions against Russia over its support of rebels fighting in eastern Ukraine, diplomats have said.
The diplomats said the measures approved include an arms embargo, a ban on the sale of dual use and sensitive technologies, and a ban on the sale of bonds and equities by state-owned Russian banks in European capital markets.
The measures were decided at a meeting of EU ambassadors.
Another EU official said the ambassadors also added eight names to the list of people subject to EU-wide asset freezes and travel bans, including four people close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
They also put three more entities on the list of companies and organisations subject to EU sanctions because of their alleged actions against Ukraine's sovereignty or territorial integrity, the official said.
The move came amid frustration at the apparent ineffectiveness of previous sanctions and outrage at the deaths of 298 people aboard the Malaysia Airlines plane downed over eastern Ukraine.
Europe, which has a much bigger trade relationship with Russia than the US, had lagged behind Washington in its earlier punitive measures, in part out of concern from leaders that the penalties could hurt their own economies.
But on Monday, in a rare video conference call with President Barack Obama, the leaders of Britain, Germany, Italy and France expressed their willingness to adopt new sanctions against Russia in co-ordination with the United States, an official French statement said.
A spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron said it was agreed the EU should adopt a “strong package of sectoral sanctions as swiftly as possible.”
Until now, the trade bloc has only targeted specific individuals, businesses or rebel groups.
The Western nations are demanding Russia halt the alleged supply of arms to Ukrainian separatists and other actions that destabilise the situation in eastern Ukraine.