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EU considers expanding Ukraine sanctions list, but holds off on tougher sanctions

European Union foreign ministers are considering adding more people to its Ukraine sanctions list but are not expected to go beyond visa bans and asset freezes before the May 25 elections in the east European nation.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday before an EU foreign ministers' meeting it is essential to show Moscow the bloc is ready to step up measures "depending on Russia's attitude toward the elections" in Ukraine.

He joined other ministers in dismissing Sunday's referendums in parts of eastern Ukraine as shams of democracy, saying "they are illegal by anybody's standards."

To date, the EU has ordered visa bans and asset freezes for 48 people. Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans said there was room to add more people to that list before considering tougher action.