European Union foreign ministers are weighing the 28-nation bloc's stance in the Ukraine crisis amid increasing calls to beef up economic sanctions against Russia.

The ministers' meeting Friday in Milan comes a day after NATO said Russia has already slipped about 1,000 soldiers and much heavy weaponry into Ukraine.

The United States and the EU have imposed sanctions against Russian officials and the country's financial industry. Moscow has retaliated by banning food imports.

President Barack Obama said Thursday that Russia's support for rebel combatants in eastern Ukraine must incur "more costs and consequences."

The EU ministers' discussion on Ukraine was expected to prepare possible further steps to be announced at a summit of the bloc's 28 leaders Saturday in Brussels.