EU fails again to agree new Russia sanctions, talks to resume Friday - sources

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium

By Gabriela Baczynska

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union countries on Thursday failed to agree on a new set of sanctions against Russia, missing a planned deadline to have them in place for the one-year anniversary of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine on Friday, diplomatic sources told Reuters.

The 27 EU countries need to agree unanimously to introduce sanctions. The sources said Poland was blocking the package over proposed exemptions to a ban on EU imports of Russian synthetic rubber.

Polish diplomats said the exemptions were so big they would render the sanctions ineffective. Other sources said the exemptions were proposed to accommodate Italy, backed by Germany.

Representatives of the member states were due to meet again at 0900 GMT on Friday to try seal a deal, according to the sources.

The EU says its 10th package of sanctions since Russia attacked its neighbour was designed to make financing the war more difficult and to starve Russia of parts needed to build arms for the war.

The new package comprises trade curbs worth some 10 billion euros ($10.58 billion), targets more Russian banks and what the West says are propagandists, as well as blacklisting individuals linked to Iran's production of drones used by Russia against Ukraine.

Some of the sources said Warsaw was still expected to grant its approval on Friday as having a new package of sanctions to announce on the anniversary was more important than squabbles over parts of its contents.

($1 = 0.9448 euros)

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Susan Fenton)