EU calls urgent Ukraine talks Monday: Ashton

AFP , Saturday 1 Mar 2014

European Union foreign ministers will hold a new round of crisis talks in Brussels on Monday on the rapidly escalating tensions in Ukraine, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said Saturday.

"Ashton calls extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council on developments in Ukraine. Monday, 3 March. Meeting starts 1300 CET," she said on Twitter.

Ministers scrambled to meet as the world watched with alarm as Russian President Vladimir Putin won approval from parliament's upper house to use Russian troops in Ukraine and Kiev accused Moscow of sending thousands of soldiers into Crimea.

Though the Kremlin said Putin had not yet decided to deploy the troops, Ukrainian leaders suggested a "national mobilisation" and the UN Security Council called emergency talks.

Monday's EU huddle will be the second on Ukraine by the bloc's 28 diplomatic chiefs in less than two weeks after they agreed at emergency talks February 20 to impose sanctions on members of the Viktor Yanukovych regime deemed responsible for deaths and repression on the streets.

Ukraine's parliament ousted Yanukovych on February 22.

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