* EU allows time to see if Ukraine ceasefire holds
* Sanctions now expected to take effect "in next few days"
* EU doves seize on ceasefire to block new sanctions
(Updates with decision)
By Jan Strupczewski and Adrian Croft
BRUSSELS, Sept 8 The European Union adopted new
sanctions against Russia over its involvement in the Ukraine war
on Monday, but delayed enforcing them to leave time to assess
whether a ceasefire in Ukraine is holding.
The sanctions, which target the ability of Russia's top oil
producers to raise capital in Europe, were originally due to
take effect on Tuesday.
But that was pushed back by a few days after some EU
governments suggested that new sanctions be put on hold to give
a chance to a shaky ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.
Some EU countries opposed to further punishment of Moscow
see the ceasefire, which was declared on Friday and still
largely intact on Monday, as an opportunity to block the new EU
sanctions package and avoid retaliation from Russia, diplomats
"The entry into force (of the new sanctions) through the
publication in the Official Journal will take place in the next
few days. This will leave time for an assessment of the
implementation of the ceasefire agreement and the peace plan,"
EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy said in a statement.
"Depending on the situation on the ground, the EU stands
ready to review the agreed sanctions in whole or in part," he
said after EU ambassadors held an extraordinary meeting to
thrash out the issue.
An EU diplomat said there was no clarity on when the new
sanctions would take effect. Ambassadors would probably discuss
the issue next on Wednesday.
Hinting at disunity in the EU, the diplomat said it would
require "political" support for the sanctions to take effect,
suggesting that ambassadors would have to escalate the issue to
a higher level of their governments.
A deadline for EU governments to agree to the new sanctions
had earlier been pushed back.
The EU has always been divided over sanctions on Russia,
with countries such as Poland and the Baltics taking a hard line
while the prime ministers of Hungary and Slovakia have been
publicly hostile to sanctions.
At Monday's ambassadors' meeting, some EU governments wanted
to discuss whether the new sanctions should be frozen before
being implemented because of the ceasefire in Ukraine, or
alternatively if the new sanctions were implemented, how they
could be suspended and when.
The EU has always said its sanctions would be reversible if
Russia stopped destabilising Ukraine. Moscow annexed Ukraine's
Crimea region in March and NATO says it has sent several
thousand troops to help pro-Moscow separatists in the eastern
part of the country.
Austria, Finland, Sweden, Cyprus and Slovakia were among
countries wanting to give the ceasefire more time, according to
one EU diplomat.
The ceasefire in Ukraine is part of a peace plan intended to
end a five-month conflict that the United Nations' human rights
envoy said had killed more than 3,000 people.
The truce was largely holding on Monday, though each side
accused the other of sporadic shelling, including in Mariupol, a
city of about half a million people.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told conservative members of
parliament in a closed-door meeting in Berlin on Monday that the
sanctions were needed despite the ceasefire agreement, according
to several participants.
Merkel told the deputies Russia had already deceived the
West repeatedly with broken promises and she pointed out that
Russian troops are still in Ukraine, they said. The EU had to
act decisively now, Merkel was quoted as saying.
The proposed new EU sanctions put Russia's top oil producers
and pipeline operators Rosneft, Transneft and Gazprom Neft on a
list of Russian state-owned firms that will not be allowed to
raise capital or borrow on European markets, an EU diplomat said
EU sanctions, however, do not include the gas sector and in
particular state-owned Gazprom, the world's biggest gas producer
and the biggest gas supplier to Europe.
In general, the EU sanctions on Russian companies raising
money in the European Union will apply to firms that have
turnover of more than 1 trillion roubles ($26.95 billion), half
of which is generated from the sale or transport of oil, the
A further 24 people will be added to a list of those barred
from entry to the bloc and whose assets in the EU are frozen.
Details of the new sanctions would only be made public when
published in the EU's Official Journal.
The list is expected to include new separatist leaders in
eastern Ukraine, the government of Ukraine's Crimea region
annexed by Moscow, and Russian decision-makers and oligarchs.
Russia signalled on Monday it might ban Western airlines
from flying over its territory as part of an "asymmetrical"
response to new European Union sanctions over the Ukraine
Blaming the West for damaging the Russian economy by
triggering "stupid" sanctions, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev
said Moscow would press on with measures to reduce reliance on
imports, starting with increasing output of domestic aircraft.
(Additional reporting by Robin Emmott, Francesco Guarascio,
Martin Santa and Julia Fioretti and Andreas Rinke in Berlin;
Editing by Tom Heneghan)