Berlin sees tough sanctions on Russia by end of July-source

BRUSSELS, July 24 Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:01am EDT

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BRUSSELS, July 24 (Reuters) - The German government believes the European Union could move to sanctions on sectors of the Russian economy by the end of July unless Russia acts quickly to defuse the crisis in eastern Ukraine, an EU source said on Thursday.

German officials in Brussels have also briefed that Berlin favours a time limit on how long new Russian sanctions should last to provide an opportunity for relations to return to normal, the source said.

EU ambassadors will discuss for the first time on Thursday imposing sanctions on sectors of the Russian economy, known in EU jargon as "stage three" of sanctions.

German officials said "the transition to stage three of sanctions should follow seamlessly and can be expected by the end of the month," the source said. (Reporting by Barbara Lewis, editing by Adrian Croft)

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