BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders asked their foreign ministers on Tuesday to consider an appropriate response to renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine, including new sanctions against Russia, when the ministers meet in Brussels on Thursday.
"We express our concern about the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine. We condemn the killing of civilians during the indiscriminate shelling of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol on 24 January 2015," the leaders said in a rare joint statement.
"We note evidence of continued and growing support given to the separatists by Russia, which underlines Russia’s responsibility. We urge Russia to condemn the separatists’ actions and to implement the Minsk agreements," they said.
"In view of the worsening situation we ask the upcoming Foreign Affairs Council to assess the situation and to consider any appropriate action, in particular on further restrictive measures, aiming at a swift and comprehensive implementation of the Minsk agreements," they said.
They said they would assess the situation at their next meeting in February.
(Reporting By Jan Strupczewski)