Britain says Putin 'cronies' must face sanctions over Ukraine

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain wants to impose sanctions on the friends and allies of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin to pressure Russia to stop meddling in Ukraine, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Tuesday.

"The word is 'cronies': the cronies of Mr Putin and his clique in the Kremlin are the people who have to bear the pressure," Hammond said. "If the financial interests of the group around the leadership are affected, the leadership will know about it."

He added in a broadcast TV clip : "We are looking at individuals who contribute to, in one way or another, the regime in the Kremlin and its interference in Ukraine and Crimea or who have benefited from the decisions and actions of that regime."

Hammond said EU foreign ministers had agreed to look at an embargo on new arms sales to Russia and to look at the possibility of restricting Russian access to capital markets, financial services and to high-technology equipment used in the energy sector.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison)