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Poroshenko: Ukraine on the brink of 'full-scale war'

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has said that he believes the crisis in the east of the country is very close to the point of "full-scale war".

He said that EU leaders agreed to prepare new sanctions against Russia, which could be implemented depending on the progress of his peace plan.

He added that he hopes a meeting with Russian amd EU representatives on Monday can bring about a ceasefire.


UK pursuing sanctions against those close to Putin

by - Political Correspondent

Downing Street wants to ramp up the sanctions against Russia but that's not going to happen here tonight. The groundwork for new sanctions has not yet been done.

Prime Minister David Cameron speaking to reporters after arriving at the EU summit in Brussels
Prime Minister David Cameron speaking to reporters after arriving at the EU summit in Brussels

The UK government wants the European Union to look at new ways of targeting individuals close to President Putin and the defence, finance and energy sectors.

These are broadly the areas where sanctions are already in place. But are they working? The Russian economy has been hit, the Rouble is at its lowest point since 1998, shares are falling.

Government sources say the Russians have been more willing to negotiate since the latest round of sanctions. But they also admit that the sanctions have yet to change the situation on the ground and that's why more are needed.

PM warns of 'consequences' for Russia over Ukraine

David Cameron has warned Vladimir Putin there will be "consequences" if Russian troops are not withdrawn from Ukraine.

Arriving at a summit in Brussels where EU leaders are due to consider beefing up sanctions against Moscow, the Prime Minister said the incursion was "completely unacceptable".

David Cameron meeting Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko
David Cameron meeting Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko

Mr Cameron, who held talks with Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko in Brussels earlier, said: "We have to address the completely unacceptable situation of having Russian troops on Ukraine soil.

"Consequences must follow if that situation continues and we will be discussing that as well today."

Lithuanian: Russia is in a 'state of war against Europe'

Russia is at war with Ukraine and so effectively at war with Europe, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite has said, calling on Europe to supply Kiev with military equipment.

It is the fact that Russia is in a war state against Ukraine. That means it is in a state of war against a country which would like to be closely integrated with the EU. Practically Russia is in a state of war against Europe. That means we need to help Ukraine to ... defend its territory and its people and to help militarily, especially with the military materials to help Ukraine to defend itself because today Ukraine is fighting a war on behalf of all Europe.

– President Dalia Grybauskaite


Ukraine hopes for 'progress in peace negotiations'

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko expects to see progress toward peace in the east of the country in the coming days, he said.

Poroshenko with Van Rompuy
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko shakes hands with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. Credit: Reuters

"We are waiting that in the very next days, starting from Monday, we can demonstrate the real progress in the peace negotiations," the president said after talks in Brussels.

"Why? Because we are too close to the border where from it would be no return to the peace plan."

EU 'prepared to toughen sanctions against Russia'

The European Union is prepared to toughen sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis, the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said.

The bloc wants to reach a political deal to end the confrontation, he added.

Barroso and Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Credit: Reuters

He said: "We are in a very serious, I would say, dramatic situation... where we can reach the point of no return. If the escalation of the conflict continues, this point can come."

"We are ready to take very strong and clear measures but we are keeping our doors open to a political solution," Mr Barroso added.

He described any tightening of sanctions as intended not to escalate the crisis but to push Moscow to negotiate and he stressed that the EU did not want confrontation - "it makes no sense to have ... a new Cold War" - and said that would be "detrimental to all of Europe".

EU leaders agree on more sanctions against Russia

European Union leaders have agreed to prepare "the next level of sanctions" against Russia in response to its intervention in Ukraine, German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said.

It is clear that after this intervention by Russia in Ukraine ... EU leaders will certainly task the European Commission with preparing the next level of sanctions.

– German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel
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