Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha
Kiev: Hoping to tame Russia's aggression, the European Union on Saturday handed a seven-day ultimatum to Moscow to de-escalate Ukraine crisis failing which more sanctions will be imposed on it.
Taking note of the “dramatic escalation” of Ukraine crisis, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the EU was ready to act quickly and “take further significant steps” to urgently take preparatory work and present proposals for consideration within a week.
Speaking in Brussels after a summit, Rompuy said that the EU was concerned by the “intense fighting, the flows of fighters and weapons coming from Russia into Eastern Ukraine”.
“The past three days, the situation has dramatically escalated, as President Poroshenko
informed us in detail. All efforts must now be directed at stopping the bloodshed and avoiding the worst,” he added.
The latest move by the EU comes after Ukraine accused Russia of sending troops to support pro-Russian rebels who have made gains in Luhansk and Donetsk.
The fighting between the military and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine has claimed 2,600 lives, according to UN figures. NATO estimates at least 1,000 Russian soldiers are in Ukraine. Russia denies the claim.
The EU and the US have already slapped sanctions on a number of Russian and Ukrainian officials.
Talking about the sanctions, the EU President said that the sanctions, the so called "stage three" sanctions were having a visible impact on the Russia's economy.
— Herman Van Rompuy (@euHvR) August 30, 2014
The major EU announcement comes as Ukraine President earlier said that the ex-Soviet bloc had come to a point of no return - full scale-war" with Russia.'
"Any offensive action which would be undertaken [by Russia]... would be a point of no return. And that's why we undertake enormous efforts to stop that," said the chocolate baron.
Ukarine is in the throes of a political crisis sine the ouster of Victor Yanukovych which followed tension in the east and Crimea's annexation by Russia.
Since then, more than 2500 have been dead in the fighting.