EU would have to respond to large military offensive in Ukraine: Steinmeier

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union would have to send a clear message if pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine staged a full-blown military offensive there, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Thursday after talks with EU counterparts.

"If there were large military offensives, for example with widespread assaults on (the port city of) Mariupol, a clear reaction would be needed," Steinmeier told reporters in Brussels.

Germany and EU partners have ruled out a military response to the conflict.

Earlier EU foreign ministers proposed that the bloc extend asset freezes and travel bans on individuals deemed responsible for hostilities in eastern Ukraine.

(Reporting by Tom Koerkemeier; Writing by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Noah Barkin)