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EU mulls sanctions to Russia over Ukraine, but swift imposition unlikely

The formal handover of the FIFA World Cup from Brazil to Russia took place on Sunday ahead of the 2018 tournament.

BRUSSELS -- European Union nations are looking at sporting sanctions to punish Russia for its involvement in the Ukraine crisis but diplomats say the immediate targeting of high-profile events like the 2018 World Cup is unlikely at this stage.

UEFA won't sanction Russia

An EU official with knowledge of the proposals said on Wednesday that sports sanctions are under consideration as the EU seeks to get new measures ready by the weekend.

Diplomats from three member states said it was unrealistic to think the 28-nation group would try to impose such measures now, and said ambassadors would more likely seek a deepening of current sanctions.

The individuals spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were still ongoing.

The EU has so far imposed sanctions against dozens of Russian officials and Russia's financial and arms industry.

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