The EU is threatening to impose fresh sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Officials are set to draw up proposals within a week.
It is not clear when they would be imposed, but Angela Merkel has said that new sanctions would be brought in if there is no change in Ukraine – or if the situation deteriorates further.
“The European Council said that it stands ready to take further significant steps in the light of the evolution of the situation on the ground,” Herman Van Rompuy, European Council President, told reporters in Brussels.
“And it requests the Commission to urgently undertake preparatory work and present proposals for consideration within a week.”
Also in Brussels, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko warned that the crisis in his country is almost at the stage of a full blown war.
“I think we are very close to the point of no return,” he stressed.
“The point of no return is full scale war, which already happened in the territory controlled by separatists and there – instead of separatists – there are regular Russian troops.”
Moscow has denied there are any Russian troops on the ground in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Slovakia says EU sanctions are “meaningless” and is threatening to veto additional measures against Russia.