European Union nations are considering new sanctions against Russia amid cautious optimism that a ceasefire will go into effect Friday in eastern Ukraine.
A new round of proposed sanctions has been handed to member states, EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said.
“A decision on implementing them will only be taken in light of developments on the ground,” she said. “If there is a ceasefire agreed in Minsk today, member states would look at how serious it was and decide whether to go forward.”
Minsk, the capital of Belarus, is where pro-Russian rebels are to hold ceasefire talks Friday with Ukrainian and Russian officials.
A ceasefire deal would be a major step in ending a nearly five-month conflict in eastern Ukraine, where Kiev accuses Moscow of sending troops to aid pro-Russian separatists — a claim Moscow denies.