What you need to know:
- The 27-nation bloc -- along with Western allies -- has pledged unprecedented sanctions on Moscow if it invades Ukraine, some eight years after seizing the Crimean peninsula from the ex-Soviet country.
Ukraine's foreign minister on Monday welcomed a French initiative for a summit between US President Joe Biden and Russia's Vladimir Putin, saying Kyiv hoped it would result in Moscow pulling back its troops.
"We welcome this initiative. We believe that every effort aimed at a diplomatic solution is worth trying," Dmytro Kuleba said ahead of a meeting with European Union counterparts in Brussels.
"We hope that the two presidents will walk out from the room with an agreement about Russia withdrawing its forces from Ukraine."
The French presidency said Monday that the two leaders had accepted in principle to hold a summit, so long as Moscow does not stage a feared invasion of Ukraine.
But the Kremlin said it was "premature" to organise such a meeting.
Fears are mounting that the Kremlin could be set to send its estimated 150,000 troops poised along the border into Ukraine.
Kuleba called for the EU to start imposing sanctions on Russia "now" to try to help deter Putin from launching an attack.
"We believe that there are good reasons, good and legitimate reasons to impose at least some of the sanctions now to demonstrate that the European Union is not only talking the talk about sanctions, but also walking the walk," he said.
The 27-nation bloc -- along with Western allies -- has pledged unprecedented sanctions on Moscow if it invades Ukraine, some eight years after seizing the Crimean peninsula from the ex-Soviet country.
Brussels and key member states insist the EU will not impose sanctions until Moscow has launched an attack.
"We are ready," said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, adding he could call an emergency meeting whenever needed to pull the sanctions trigger.
Some eastern EU members have begun pushing for the bloc to start considering taking measures sooner to punish Moscow for its aggressive stance.
"I think that we have to start debating about an answer already to the current situation, because now everything that we are talking about is just waiting for a military attack," said Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis.