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BRUSSELS -- The European Union on Saturday warned that the apparent incursion of Russian troops on Ukrainian soil pushes the conflict closer to a point of no return, with new economic sanctions being drawn up to make Moscow reconsider its position.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who briefed a summit of the 28-nation EU's leaders in Brussels, said a strong response was needed to the "military aggression and terror" facing his country.
"Thousands of the foreign troops and hundreds of the foreign tanks are now on the territory of Ukraine," Poroshenko said.
NATO estimates that at least 1,000 Russian soldiers are in Ukraine while Russia denies military
involvement in the fighting that has so far claimed 2,600 lives according to U.N. figures.
Poroshenko told reporters that he believed efforts to halt the violence were "very close to a point of no return," warning that failure could lead to a "full-scale war."
Conceding ground in the face of a reinvigorated rebel offensive, Ukraine said Saturday that it was abandoning a city where its forces have been surrounded by rebels for days. Government forces were also pulling back from another it had claimed to have taken control of two weeks
Poroshenko said Ukraine would welcome an EU decision to help with military equipment and further intelligence-sharing.