Katya Adler Europe editor @BBCkatyaadleron Twitter
Just before the emergency EU leaders’ meeting on Ukraine started, a Brussels official told us he thought this would be one of the toughest and most emotional EU summits ever.
From what I heard went on behind closed doors, he wasn’t wrong.
Russia’s actions in Ukraine impact many EU members directly. It feels personal to them.
Their belief: that Vladimir Putin has his eye on much more than Ukraine – that he wants to redesign the security architecture of Europe in his favour.
Countries in central and eastern Europe which used to be behind the Iron Curtain – now EU and Nato members – feel very exposed.
Particularly the Baltic States, which border Russia. They fear the Kremlin intends to destabilise them with cyber attacks and more disinformation campaigns, aimed at their ethnic Russian communities.
On his way into Thursday night’s summit, the Polish prime minister voiced deep frustration that tougher sanctions hadn’t been imposed earlier on Moscow.
“Enough of this cheap talking,” snapped Mateusz Morawiecki. Europe continues buying so much Russian oil and gas, he said. “And he [Vladimir Putin] is turning it into aggression, invasion. He’s destabilising all of Europe.”
But other EU leaders pulled in a different direction.
True, all 27 of them unanimously agreed to an unprecedented sanctions package, described by the European Council president as “massive and painful” against Russia.
The package targets more sectors of the Russian economy, including the transport and energy sectors (with a ban on exports from Europe that Russia depends on to refine its oil for sale), as well as the financial sector, and more individuals close to the Kremlin.
EU leaders also agreed to slap sanctions on Belarus, a key Putin ally.
But the sanctions, and counter-sanctions threatened by Russia, will hit European economies too.
Some more than others, making them wary.
Germany and Italy – so reliant on Russian gas supplies and business ties – urged the EU to hold back on the toughest sanctions of all for now, like limiting oil and gas imports and ejecting Russia from the Swift international payment system.
Berlin and Rome argue it’s wiser to keep those “nuclear” measures, as they’re known, up the EU’s sleeve, in case the situation worsens in Ukraine.
Their critics accuse them of self-interest, in a time of international crisis.
Hungary, Romania and Poland, meanwhile, voiced other concerns at the summit.
Direct neighbours of Ukraine, they worry they’ll find themselves on the front line of a new migration crisis, should Ukrainians try to flee the hostilities in large numbers.
Brussels says it’s working both on contingency plans to help refugees and to compensate EU countries worst hit by sanctions and resulting, further spiralling energy prices.
The message the EU hoped to transmit on Thursday was one of unity: externally, with warnings to Russia and assurances of solidarity to Ukraine.
EU leaders heard what’s described as an “emotional but dignified” address by Ukraine’s president via video conference.
But also internally – to show all member states that they’re in this crisis together. For the long haul.