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BRUSSELS: EU leaders could hold an emergency summit on the Ukraine crisis this week, on the sidelines of a meeting with their African counterparts, a senior EU official said Monday. Fears have soared that Russia could be planning an imminent invasion of its neighbour after dire Western warnings over a massive troop buildup at the border.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was the latest EU leader to embark on diplomatic efforts as he held talks Tuesday in Kyiv before heading to Moscow for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The official said Brussels was waiting for the results of Scholz’s visit to the Kremlin and an emergency summit was “possible” if needed when EU leaders gather in Brussels Thursday for the Africa meeting. The EU — alongside other Western allies — has vowed to impose massive sanctions on Moscow if it stages a further incursion into Ukraine.

Officials in Brussels have come up with a raft of options for the sanctions but the leaders of the 27 member states would need to sign off on them. The EU official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the West could not say if Putin has yet taken a decision to invade — but warned that an attack could take place at any moment.

Moscow — which denies it is planning an incursion — on Monday signalled a possible easing of the crisis by keeping the door open for dialogue with the West and saying it was ending some military drills.

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