By Jonathan Davies

The European Union (EU) has agreed a new set of economic sanctions to impose on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.

Included in the measures are restrictions on Russian state-owned oil companies' ability to raise finance on European stock markets.

Russia denies sending troops and weapons into eastern Ukraine to aid pro-Russian rebel fighters, and agreed to ceasefire with the Ukrainian government late last week.

Despite the ceasefire, the EU is still keen to press ahead with the economic sanctions. But it is yet to say exactly when the sanctions will come into effect. Some analysts have suggested the EU is being deliberately coy to allow time to assess the ceasefire.

EU Council President Herman van Rompuy said the measures were "promoting a change of course in Russia's actions destabilising eastern Ukraine".

"Depending on the situation on the ground, the EU stands ready to review the agreed sanctions in whole or in part," Mr van Rompuy said.

Russian gas firms will not be affected by the sanctions, instead it will focus on state-owned oil firms. Rosneft, is likely be hardest hit by the latest round of sanctions. It recently asked the Russian government for a $42bn (£25.2bn) loan after being hit by US sanctions.

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