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British Foreign Minister Says New Sanctions Expand Existing Measures

LONDON - A fresh round of sanctions on Russia will be an extension of existing measures including travel bans and asset freezes on individuals, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Sunday.

Hague said that while diplomatic routes to de-escalate the crisis remained open, Europe and the U.S. were also working on more far-reaching measures of economic, trade and financial sanctions in case Russia did not back down.

"Those are for the future. What we will hear about in the coming days, what we will agree ... is an expansion of existing sanctions, measures against individuals or entities in Russia," Hague told Sky News.

Hague said Britain and its allies would be willing to accept the potential costs to their own countries of implementing further reaching economic or trade sanctions.

"It would be a price worth paying if this situation continues to deteriorate," he said. "We will calculate them in way that has the maximum effect on the Russian economy and the minimum effect on our own economy and the EU's."

Hague said international observers being held by pro-Russian separatists should be released "immediately and unconditionally" and called on Russia to assist by lobbying the rebel groups.

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