German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has warned the international community must not allow the Ukraine-Russia crisis to create a new division of Europe.
Speaking at a briefing in Kiev after talks with Ukraine's Prime Minister Arsenyi Yatsenyuk, Steinmeier said he hoped the first OSCE monitors would arrive in Ukraine to support de-escalation efforts in the next couple of days.
An unusually frank Nato Secretary General issued an unequivocal warning on the course of events should Russia attack Latvia or Estonia.
The West responds with sanctions and closer political ties with Ukraine as Russia's President seals the annexing of Crimea to much fanfare.
Supporters of the controversial fracking industry believe shale gas could be America's most potent weapon in the stand-off with Russia.