EU leaders have asked their foreign ministers to consider imposing further sanctions on Russia in response to the continued fighting in Ukraine.
A statement said the ministers, who will meet on Thursday, should “consider any appropriate action, in particular on further restrictive measures”.
It urged Russia to observe last September’s Minsk ceasefire deal, which has been ignored amid clashes between Ukraine’s army and pro-Russian rebels.
More heavy shelling has been reported.
The Ukrainian military said nine of its soldiers had been killed in the past 24 hours as fighting raged at several points in eastern Ukraine.
The military, quoted by Ukraine’s Unian news agency, said there had been heavy rebel mortar and artillery fire near the town of Debaltseve and the village of Luhanskaya.
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