Milan (AFP) - EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said a decision on further sanctions against Russia over what she described as its "aggression" in Ukraine would be made by EU leaders on Saturday evening.
The unfolding crisis dominated a two-day meeting of EU foreign ministers in Milan, which wrapped up here on Saturday.
"All ministers expressed deep concern about the recent aggression by regular Russian forces," Ashton said at the close of the informal talks.
"They were very clear that there is no military solution. We need a sustainable political solution that respects Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
"We urge Russia to stop hostility and the flow of arms and personnel into the conflict zone and to withdraw its forces."
The foreign ministers did not make any decision on the scope of any further sanctions but EU officials said there was near unanimous acknowledgement of the need to send a strong signal to Moscow following NATO's report that more than 1,000 Russian troops are already inside southeastern Ukraine.