The European Union is slapping sanctions on nine more people over “illegal” elections in eastern Ukraine last month, while it weighs how to help Kiev in its Black Sea standoff with Russia.

EU foreign ministers on Monday imposed asset freezes and travel bans on the nine local government and election officials in Donetsk and Luhansk.

It brings to 164 the total number of people under sanctions for “actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.”

Belgium's Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, left, talks to Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, centre, and Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz prior a meeting of EU Foreign Affairs ministers at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Monday, Dec. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Belgium’s Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, left, talks to Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, centre, and Poland’s Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz prior a meeting of EU Foreign Affairs ministers at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Monday, Dec. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Forty-four “entities”, like companies or organizations, are also on the list.

Separately Monday, the ministers were due to discuss the Russia tensions with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin.

Russian border guards last month fired on three Ukrainian navy vessels in the Black Sea. The vessels and the crews were captured.

Source: The Associated Press

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