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European Union Gives Ultimatum to Russia, Threatens More Sanctions


"...everybody is fully aware that we have to act quickly."

European Union leaders pose during a group photo at an EU summit in Brussels, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. EU leaders, in a one day summit, are set to decide who will get the prestigious job as the 28-nation bloc's foreign policy chief for the next five years. They will also discuss the current situation in Ukraine. Front row, left to right, Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, European Parliament President Martin Schultz, French President Francois Hollande, Romanian President Traian Basescu, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades , European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Commission President elect Jean-Claude Juncker, Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico and General Secretariat of the Council Uwe Corsepius. Back row left to right, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Czech Republic's Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Slovenian Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek, Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roeivas and British Prime Minister David Cameron. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert) AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert

BRUSSELS (TheBlaze/AP) — The European Union is giving Russia a one-week ultimatum to scale back its intervention in Ukraine or face additional economic sanctions.

The bloc's 28 leaders tasked its executive body to "urgently undertake preparatory work for consideration within a week," EU summit chairman Herman Van Rompuy said early Sunday.

European Union leaders pose during a group photo at an EU summit in Brussels, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. (Image source: AP/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

He added that "everybody is fully aware that we have to act quickly."

Still, in apparent fear of an economic backlash, EU leaders shied away from immediately imposing tougher sanctions. Russia is the EU's No. 3 trading partner and one of its biggest oil and gas suppliers.

The fighting between the military and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine has claimed 2,600 lives, according to U.N. figures. NATO estimates at least 1,000 Russian soldiers are in Ukraine. Russia denies that.

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