BRUSSELS, June 27 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) leaders have set June 30 as the deadline for steps taken by relevant parties to improve situation and contribute to lasting ceasefire in east Ukraine.
A European Council statement issued here Friday said the steps include agreeing on a verification mechanism for the cease-fire and for the effective control of the border.
Also among the steps expected by the EU leaders are the return to the Ukrainian authorities of three border checkpoints, release of hostages including all of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe observers, as well as launch of negotiations on the implementation of the peace plan proposed by the Ukrainian presiden1s.
The EU warned of "further restrictive measures" on the basis of assessment of the situation, noting that the member states have been preparing such sanctions from March, so that they can be taken "without delay."
According to the statement, the heads of state and government of the EU countries "regret" that the current cease-fire has not led to the full cessation of "military hostilities."
They urged Russian to "actively use its influence over the illegally armed groups and to stop the flow of weapons and militants across the border."
Meanwhile, the EU leaders reaffirmed their support to the peace plan announced by Ukraine and commit to support the economic stabilization process in the country.
A high level donor coordination meeting on Ukraine will be held in Brussels on July 8, the European Council statement said.
Earlier on Friday, the EU and Ukraine singed Association Agreements to deepen political and economical ties. That has brought Russian's warning of "grave consequences" of the deal.