Press TV, Brussels
Hundreds of civil servants inside the European Commission are working on a sixth round of sanctions against Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine.
More Russian individuals, banks and media outlets are being targeted. There is also a proposal to completely stop the importation of Russian oil into the 27-country EU. Legislators say the measures will not only hurt Russia.
A debate on Wednesday, in the European Parliament, heard that inflation in the EU is eating up wages and pensions. Apparently, 36 million people in the bloc are unable to sufficiently heat their homes.
The new social crisis, and Ukrainian refugee crisis, are placing additional pressures on EU health systems, including mental health services. Those working in the sector say there is not enough financial support from governments.
Pope Francis says NATO's "barking" at Russia's door may have caused the conflict in Ukraine. Some EU lawmakers agree and suggest Washington is mostly to blame.
The European Commission's latest sanctions on Russia are presently just proposals. Hungary and Slovakia look set to veto the oil ban. There is growing concern surrounding how the Kremlin might respond to such a ban.
That's because Russia's gas is even more important to the EU's economy than its oil. Economists say if Moscow was to switch off the gas immediately, it would be game over for the European Union.