File - European flags outside European Commission headquarters in Brussels. (Reuters)
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European Union ambassadors reached a preliminary agreement Friday to push ahead with hard-hitting economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis but details remained to be worked out, diplomats said.After a discussion that lasted all day Thursday and part of Friday, ambassadors asked the EU's executive Commission to draw up a legal text setting out economic sanctions that the EU would impose for possible agreement next week.One EU official said there was "an overall preliminary agreement on the concept" but ambassadors would hold more discussions next week on the basis of the legal text.EU officials said it would cover all four areas where sanctions have been proposed – restrictions on Russian access to European financial markets, defense and energy technology and equipment useful for both defense or civilian purposes.Under the proposals put forward by the Commission, the EU would target state-owned Russian banks vital to financing Moscow's faltering economy.
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