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BRUSSELS, July 25 (Reuters) - EU leaders seeking to agree sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine are expected to include oil technology but exclude technology for Russia’s all-important gas sector, EU sources said on Friday.
The scaling back of the EU’s ambitions shows the difficulty of agreeing forceful sanctions against Russia without risking damage to the bloc’s fragile economy.
Two sources quoted from an official letter sent to EU heads of government outlining “an emerging consensus on some key principles”.
Concerning sanctions on sensitive technologies, the letter from EU Council President Herman van Rompuy says one of the principles emerging is that restrictions on sensitive technology would only affect the oil sector, not the gas sector, because of “the need to preserve EU energy security,” the sources said on condition of anonymity.
Earlier this week, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger reiterated that he had never supported the idea of sanctioning physical energy supplies.
However, he said sophisticated oil and gas technologies for future Russian energy production could be targeted unless Moscow acted to defuse the situation in Ukraine.
A draft document on possible sanctions on Thursday also laid out a range of technologies that could be restricted, which could have delayed development of Russia’s South Stream gas project to ship gas to Europe via the Black Sea. (Reporting by Barbara Lewis; editing by Adrian Croft)