(QHA) -

Today, European Union leaders are due to discuss whether to impose further sanctions on Russia over the crisis in eastern Ukraine,RFE/RL reports.

On the eve of the Brussels summit, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on Russia to take steps to disarm separatists in Ukraine within "the next hours."

The U.S. State Department has said it has new Russia sanctions "ready to go," but Kerry said the United States would prefer not to be in "sanctions mode" and wanted Russia to take action without pressure.

On June 26, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called on Russia to support his peace plan "with deeds, not words."

EU leaders are also due to debate candidates to become the next president of the European Commission, to replace Jose Manuel Barroso. Luxembourg's Jean-Claude Juncker is the favorite, despite strong opposition from Britain.

QHA