OTTAWA (Reuters) - Russia's "unacceptable, irresponsible and absolutely reckless" moves in Ukraine will strengthen the resolve of NATO leaders when they meet for a summit next week, Canada said on Thursday.
Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, said Russian troops had entered his country in support of pro-Moscow rebels who captured a key coastal town, sharply escalating a five-month-old separatist war.
NATO leaders are due to meet in the Welsh city of Cardiff on Sept 4 and 5.
Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird described Russia's moves in Ukraine as an active invasion. Russia's defence ministry denied its military units were operating in Ukraine.
"To do this a week before NATO leaders meet in Wales is a significant provocation and completely unacceptable. This will undoubtedly strengthen the resolve of all NATO leaders at their meeting," Baird told reporters on a conference call.
"The NATO meeting will be a lot more important than we had thought," he added, saying Canada stood ready with its partners to impose more sanctions on Russia. He did not give details.
Canada's Conservative government has already announced several rounds of sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian companies and individuals.
But Ottawa has so far not targeted two key Putin allies who have Canadian business interests.
Canada is one of 28 NATO member countries. Other members include the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Turkey.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)