Press TV, Brussels
On Monday, ministers from the EU's 27 member states gathered in Brussels to discuss growing tensions with Russia. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken joined them via videolink. The West warns the toughest ever financial sanctions against Moscow will be unveiled if Ukraine is invaded.
Moscow accuses the West of unnecessary provocation. This, as the US ponders deploying thousands of troops and military hardware to Eastern Europe. Many security analysts say the Kremlin is fully justified in demanding that NATO halts its expansion around Russia. There's concern that if a new sanctions package is unveiled, Moscow could turn off the EU's essential gas supplies. Speaking to us online, the European Policy Center's Amanda Paul expressed skepticism regarding threats from Brussels.
Also on Monday, the EU announced €1.2bn to support Ukraine. Ursula von der Leyen says a further €6bn is in the pipeline for Kiev. This is in addition to the €17bn already sent by the EU to Ukraine since 2014. Critics are incensed because the bloc's own agency, the European Court of Auditors, says Ukraine is extremely corrupt.
Negotiations between the West and Russia will continue at various political levels in the coming days. Analysts say the only option is for both sides to give ground because the alternative is unthinkable.