The European Union is debating further economic sanctions against Russia with the US and the UK, but no decisions will be made on Monday, according to the bloc's top diplomat.
In July 2014, the EU and the US placed economic sanctions on Russia, targeting its energy, banking, and defence industries, and are considering additional restrictions if Russia attempts to invade Ukraine.
Josep Borrell said, "we are in deterrence mode. "In any event, we'll send a strong message to Russia that any aggression against Ukraine will come at a severe price. We're working with the US and the UK to figure out what sanctions could be, when and how they should be implemented, in a coordinated manner."
According to EU diplomats, the conversation focused on a potential gradual rise in any sanctions, ranging from travel bans and asset freezes on powerful members of Russia's political elite to the banning of any financial and banking links with Russia.
Sanctioning the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany to prevent it becoming operational was another option, as was targeting more Russian state-owned defence and energy enterprises or cancelling natural gas contracts.
However, envoys said such measures would be considered only if Russia conducted a full invasion of Ukraine.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has repeatedly reminded Russia that the Western military alliance stands with Ukraine in the face of a huge and unusual concentration of Russian troops on its borders.
Russia claims it has no plans to invade Ukraine and accuses Kyiv of sending half of of the Ukrainian military to confront pro-Russian separatists in the country's east.