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Officials: EU to add 13 people to Ukraine list

Spain's Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo y Marfil, second right, talks with Finland's Foreign Minister Erkki Sakari Tuomioja, left, French Secretary of State for European Affairs Harlem Desir, second left, and Romania's Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean during an EU foreign ministers meeting at the European Council building in Brussels Monday, May 12, 2014. EU foreign ministers discuss the situation in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)
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By Raf Casert, The Associated Press

BRUSSELS - European Union foreign ministers have added 13 people to its visa ban and asset freeze list over Ukraine but are not expected to take tougher measures before the May 25 elections in the east European nation, officials said Monday.

Beyond the 13 people, two enterprises were also added to the list by the 28 EU ministers, according to two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the measure had yet to be officially announced.

The EU had previously ordered visa bans and asset freezes for 48 people, but it is the first time it includes businesses on the list. The decision follows a preliminary approval by EU officials last week to allow sanctions against companies, as the Obama administration has done in a separate U.S. sanctions list that targets several close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin and their assets.

After Monday's addition a total of 61 people are included on the EU list.

Beyond the visa and asset measures, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that it is essential to show Moscow the bloc is ready to step up measures further "depending on Russia's attitude toward the elections" in Ukraine.

He joined other ministers at the foreign ministers meeting in Brussels in dismissing Sunday's referendums in parts of eastern Ukraine as shams of democracy, saying "they are illegal by anybody's standards."

Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans said there was room to add more people to that list before considering tougher action.

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