BRUSSELS, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- The European Union will decide Friday on new sanctions against Russia, the group's next foreign policy chief announced Tuesday.
Federica Mogherini, the Italian Foreign Minister and incoming EU chief of foreign policy, told the European Parliament in Brussels Tuesday the sanctions would comprise "the strongest possible response" to Russia's involvement in Ukraine's pro-separatist movement.
The European Commission, the EU's executive branch, will present an outline of proposed sanctions Wednesday.
"We need to respond in the strongest possible way," Mogherini said following her presentation. "Things on the ground are getting more and more dramatic. We speak about an aggression and I think sanctions are part of a political strategy."
She declined to offer details regarding the sanctions, but said the defense and financial sectors would be included.
The Australian government said it would match European sanctions introduced against Russia last month, increasing restrictions on Russian owned banks' access to Australian capital markets.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Parliament in Canberra Monday that "Australia stands with countries around the world in urging Russia to de-escalate tensions, pull back its military, and engage in genuine dialogue with Ukraine."
Trade between Russia and Australia, mostly Russian imports of beef, wheat and butter, accounts for about $1.68 billion in value.