We're ready for 'total war': Ukraine President

With renewed unrest in the eastern region of Ukraine and a ceasefire crumbling, the president of the country has declared that it is ready for "total war" with neighboring Russia as tensions between the two nations show no signs of ending.

Taking to the English version of his personal twitter account on Monday morning, Petro Poroshenko pointed the finger at Moscow and said that the Kremlin had disrespected a brief respite in the fighting on its borders.

"We are prepared for a scenario of total war," he said. He echoed the comments in an interview with German daily Bild Zeitung.

"We don't want war, we want peace. We are fighting for EU values. Russia doesn't respect any agreement."

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Explosions and artillery fire could be heard at Donetsk airport on Monday morning, Reuters reported, as pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government troops continue to battle for the strategically important location.

Tensions have escalated since the annexation of Crimea by Russia back in March and the toppling of the Ukrainian government. This came after pro-European Union protests in the capital of Kiev which raged for several months with the country now torn between the grasp of Russia and Western nations.

Moscow has on many occasions denied that it is behind the pro-Russia aggression in the east of Ukraine and both sides have also denied that they are to blame for the end of the recent ceasefire.

Meanwhile, the European Union may impose sanctions on more Russian-backed separatists on Monday in the wake of a vote held in eastern Ukraine on November 2, but they are unlikely to discuss new steps against Russia itself until early December, officials said.

EU foreign ministers will discuss how to respond to the vote, which they say has no legal basis, as well as ways to launch reforms in Ukraine and engage Russia in finding a solution to the conflict, the officials said.

"We will discuss what will be the best option today to react to the so-called elections on November 2, which we all said were illegal and illegitimate and might require some reaction from the European Union's side," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters on arrival for the talks.

If new sanctions were agreed on Monday, they would most likely be limited to adding names of Russian-backed separatists to the list of people banned from entering the European Union and those whose EU assets are frozen.

"We will speak about ...support (for) sanctions to physical persons, it will probably be one of the main points of our agenda," Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said.

But he said new economic sanctions against Russia were only likely to be discussed by European leaders at their next summit in December.

Mogherini said that sanctions in themselves were not an objective but that they could be effective if used together with other measures.

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"I think it's time that the European Union and the ministers concentrate also on the other issues we have to build to have a complete strategy," she said.

"That means on the one side asking the Ukrainians again to commit to reforms and to find a way to better assist them on reforms because the best way to get ahead is to make Ukraine a success. Also to engage in a dialogue with Russia and the European Union. These will be the three tracks of our discussion today," she said.