The European Union's new foreign policy chief condemned the recent rebel-held elections in eastern Ukraine as "illegal and illegitimate" and said that the bloc could pursue further sanctions against Russia as it seeks to preserve Ukraine's territorial sovereignty.

During her first trip abroad in her new role, Federica Mogherini said in Warsaw that "the issue of sanctions is always on the table." She stressed that any decisions would reflect the will of all 28 EU members.

She said the "so-called" elections in eastern Ukraine Sunday, which Moscow has praised, "were a very negative sign," and that "the situation on the ground is extremely negative, with people dying yesterday."

She said the EU's strategy toward Russia and Ukraine would be discussed Nov. 17 at a meeting of EU foreign ministers.