Commission to discuss new Russia sanctions proposal with EU countries

FILE PHOTO: European Commission logo near its entrance in Brussels, Belgium

By Julia Payne

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission will start informal high-level meetings with member states on Saturday on the details of a proposed new set of sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, three diplomatic sources said on Wednesday.

The EU is keen to put a 13th package of measures together to mark the second anniversary of the war on Feb. 24.

The discussions that begin on Saturday are a final step before the Commission officially delivers a new package to be debated and voted on by EU countries in the Council.

The proposal is expected to focus on closing more loopholes on circumvention, especially for items that can be used on the battlefield, as well as a number of new listings on individuals and entities.

One source added that some minor sectoral measures such as new import bans were also likely.

Poland and the Baltic states have been calling for import bans on Russian aluminium and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

With EU elections looming in June, the bloc is pushing hard to secure more funding for Ukraine through a potential 50 billion euro ($54.06 billion) package, military aid as well as using revenues from frozen Russian central bank assets.

($1 = 0.9249 euros)

(Reporting by Julia Payne; Editing by Sandra Maler)