Proposed new EU sanctions will block Russian banks' access from European financial markets, among other things, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday.
"We will not allow President Putin to replace the rule of law by the rule of force and ruthlessness," von der Leyen said, while pledging the European Union's solidarity with Ukraine.
The EU was responding after Russian President Vladimir ordered the deployment of Russia's military in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in a televised address early on Thursday.
The move from Putin was in response to a written request from the leaders of the two breakaway regions for assistance to combat alleged attacks from the Ukrainian army.
The sanctions package is to be coordinated not only with the United States, Britain and Canada, but also Australia and Japan, von der Leyen told reporters.
The sanctions measures include freezing Russian assets in the EU and banning important Russian economic sectors from accessing key technologies and markets. The EU is Russia's biggest trading partner, according to the commission.
"Russian leadership will face unprecedented isolation," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said announcing the package, urging Putin to stop "this senseless aggression."
EU leaders could approve the measures at an emergency summit later on Thursday. "We must immediately respond to Russia's criminal aggression on Ukraine," Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in a tweet. "Europe and the free world has to stop Putin," he added.
We must immediately respond to Russia's criminal aggression on Ukraine.— Mateusz Morawiecki (@MorawieckiM) February 24, 2022
Europe and the free world has to stop Putin. Today's European Council should approve fiercest possible sanctions.
Our support for Ukraine must be real.
The bloc imposed a first set of sanctions on Wednesday, following Putin's recognition of independence for the breakaway provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk.
Earlier on Thursday, von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel vowed to impose "massive and severe" sanctions on Russia, in a joint statement.