The Netherlands and Denmark triggered emergency energy plans on Monday as Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Austria signaled a shift to coal as an emergency fuel as plans to ration natural gas are being put together. This is in response to Russia cutting off half of the natural gas supplies to Europe.

The Russian military is ready for a potentially massive conflict with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, according to a Russian general and member of the country’s legislature on Friday.

Discussions between Turkey, Finland and Sweden about the Nordic countries' NATO membership will continue and an alliance summit in Madrid next week is not a deadline, Turkey said after talks in Brussels on Monday.

Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But the bids have faced opposition from Turkey, which has been angered by what it says is Helsinki and Stockholm's support for Kurdish militants and arms embargoes on Ankara.

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Several European Union countries are pushing to start work on a new package of sanctions against Russia and Belarus for the invasion of Ukraine and also want to grant more military support to Kyiv, according to diplomats and a draft document.

About one-third of the 27 EU governments, mostly Nordic and eastern states, want the EU Commission to begin work on a seventh round of sanctions, diplomats said.

Earlier this month Ukrainian officials already described a more intensified Russian bombardment of its forces in the Donbas - which they stressed is more so that at any prior point in the war - but President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is now predicting that Russia will escalate its attacks even more this week in connection to the much anticipated European Union summit.

Lithuania has banned the transit of some goods through its territory from Russia to its exclave of Kaliningrad.

It includes coal, metals, construction materials and advanced technology, accounting for around 50% of all goods that Kaliningrad imports.

Moscow said the move was “unprecedented” and “unlawful” and threatened to respond.

Lithuania’s foreign minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said his country was simply implementing sanctions imposed by the EU, of which it is a member.

European authorities are stopping the transit of Russian goods in the Kaliningrad region, which is officially a part of the Russian territory. Such a measure tends to significantly increase tensions on the European continent and contribute negatively at a time of major concerns about international peace and security.

Lithuania blocked the rail transit of some Russian goods to the country’s Kaliningrad Region on Saturday. Vilnius explained the move by stating that the goods in question were sanctioned by the EU in connection with the conflict in Ukraine, and therefore can no longer pass through the bloc's territory even if they travel from one part of Russia to another.