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Obama holds talks with Baltic leaders over Ukraine

President Obama is in Estonia for talks with Baltic leaders about the crisis in Ukraine.

The leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are reportedly concerned about possible Russian aggression following the recent intervention in Ukraine.

President Obama arriving in Estonia this morning.
President Obama arriving in Estonia this morning. Credit: RTV

Mr Obama will then travel to the Nato summit in south Wales where leaders from the military alliance are expected to support a new rapid-reaction force to respond to any Russian action in eastern Europe.

Read: Scenes of war and destruction in Ukraine's Ilovaysk

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PM: Nato must send 'strong' message about Ukraine

The Prime Minister has called on Nato members to send a "very clear, unified and strong message" in response to the crisis in Ukraine.

Speaking at a reception for the Nato Parliamentary Assembly at Downing Street, David Cameron said: "Members of Nato want and deserve real reassurance that our Article V commitments are rock solid."

Article V refers to one of the founding principles of the Nato alliance stating that if one of its members is attacked, it "shall be considered an attack against them all".

Hammond: Nato must show 'will to fight back'

UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Nato needs to show a political will to fight back if Russia was to attack any of the alliance's members.

Mr Hammond said Nato leaders needed to make clear there was a "red line" around the 28 member states which could not be crossed.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond Credit: PA Wire

His comments come ahead of a Nato summit in Wales this week.

Meanwhile, several former Eastern bloc member states - such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - warned they could be the next target of Russian aggression following Moscow's incursions into eastern Ukraine.

Estonian President said there should be a permanent Nato base in his country's territory.

Under the Nato treaty, the whole alliance would be obliged to defend any member state if they came under an attack.

Scenes of war and destruction in Ukraine's Ilovaysk

Rockets, destroyed buildings and burned cars are among the signs of a fierce battle between the pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian forces clearly visible on the streets of the eastern Ukraine's town of Ilovaysk, ITV News' Senior Foreign Editor John Angier reports.

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School in #Ilovaysk used as base by Ukrainian forces. Ousted by separatists after a fierce battle http://t.co/5XziXvPRry

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School gym used as a field hospital by Ukrainian soldiers in #Ilovaysk Bloody bandages beneath basketball hoop http://t.co/aVLzyskNUP

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Ukraine: Pro-Russian rebels in control of Donetsk

Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine are now in control of the area around Donetsk, ITV News' Europe Editor James Mates reports.

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Rebels/Russians now in complete control of area around #Donetsk and route to Russian border. May be turning point http://t.co/ez1He0rRBO

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Evidence of catastrophic defeat for #Ukraine army in Ilovaysk. Siege of #Donetsk broken, reports of 100s of PoWs http://t.co/1t66rpGTdW

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Minister urges Europeans to eat fruit to offset sanctions

Europeans should eat more fruit and vegetables to make up for Russian restrictions on food imports from Western countries, Germany's agriculture minister said.

"Eat! You should eat, I should eat, we should eat," the minister, Christian Schmidt, told German radio.

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Europeans should eat more fruit and vegetable, a German minister said. Credit: PA

In a tit for tat move, Russia imposed one-year embargo on nearly all food imports from the EU, the US, Canada, Australia, Norway and Australia.

"You cannot lament the fact that there is lots of fruit and then not eat fruit, that much is obvious," Schmidt said in the interview with Deutschlandfunk.

The EU has introduced measures to help some European farmers affected by the ban.

EU countries suggests barring Russia from sports events

The European Commission has suggested a new set of sanctions against Russia.

Russian athletes
Some EU countries suggested barring Russia from some sports events. Credit: PA Wire

The bloc's leaders are negotiating the next round of sanctions this week.

Here is what some European countries proposed, according to Reuters news agency.

  • Barring Russia from cultural and sports events
  • Russian government-owned companies, not just banks, should be banned from borrowing money in the EU
  • A list of goods completely banned from being exported to Russia should be expanded on goods that can have both military and civilian use. At the moment, only military goods are barred
  • Expanding a ban on certain financial instruments sold by state-owned Russian banks in the EU
  • Extending ban on selling advanced energy technologies to Russia
  • Adding Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu to the list of Russians barred from entering EU and freezing his EU assets

Estonia wants a Nato base 'to defend against Russia'

Estonia wants Nato to set up permanent bases on its territory to defend against Russia and ease fears that the Baltic state could be the next flashpoint after Ukraine, President Toomas Hendrik said.

Map of Estonia
Map of Estonia Credit: Google maps

Hendrik, visiting Oslo on the eve of a visit to Estonia by U.S. President Barack Obama in the run-up to a Nato summit in Wales, said "yes" when asked at a news conference if he wanted permanent Nato bases in Estonia.

"We should not have Nato with two-tier countries: with Nato permanent bases and without. This is a wrong signal to send to the potential aggressor," he said.

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