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.
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".
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