Van Rompuy Ready to Impose New Sanctions on Russia

The European Union called on Russia on Wednesday to avoid worsening the crisis in Ukraine or face further sanctions.

The EU also said it wants to continue negotiations on a free-trade deal with Japan, which officials see as crucial for economic growth.

"We call on Russia to refrain from any steps to further destabilize Ukraine, instead to engage in a diplomatic resolution of the crisis," European Council President Herman Van Rompuy told a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe following a summit in Brussels.

"Further steps in destabilizing Ukraine will call for additional sanctions," Van Rompuy said.

Read more