Europe to hit Russia with new sanctions

The European Union Saturday will vote Saturday to impose new sanctions on Russia over its involvement with separatist fighters in Ukraine.

“Sanctions are not an end in themselves,” EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said before a summit in Brussels, Belgium on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

“Russia should not underestimate the European Union’s will and resolve to stand by its principles and values.” 

Barroso said the sanctions should discourage Russia from further meddling in Ukraine, but did not provide details on direct targets of the sanctions. Those details are likely to come out within days of the vote.

“No one’s interest is served by new wars on our continent,” he said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met with EU leaders Saturday to discuss the ongoing situation, saying that Ukrainian forces were retreating from some cities taken over by pro-Russian separatists, AP reported.

“Thousand(s) of the foreign troops and hundreds of the foreign tanks are now on the territory of Ukraine,” Poroshenko told reporters. “There is a very high risk not only for peace and stability for Ukraine but for the whole peace and stability of Europe.”

Fighting continued on the ground Saturday, where Ukrainian forces had been surrounded for days by rebels in Ilovaysk, a city near Donetsk, the largest rebel-held city.

Ukraine’s defense ministry also said one of its Su-25 fighter jets was shot down Friday over eastern Ukraine by a Russian missile. The pilot was unharmed after he ejected.