European Union leaders on Wednesday weighed a response to suspicions of Russian meddling ahead of June elections in the bloc, with several states pushing for sanctions targeting "malign activities" by Moscow.

Brussels has issued escalating warnings about Russia sowing disinformation ahead of the polls and seeking to weaken Western support for Ukraine as it fights off Moscow's invasion.

The issue dramatically reared its head in recent weeks after Czech intelligence uncovered evidence EU lawmakers took money to spread Kremlin propaganda through a Prague-based news site — allegations now under investigation in Belgium, which hosts the EU's top institutions.