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Report: 'At least 43 dead as Russian trawler sinks'

The Kamchatka Peninsula. Credit: Google Maps

At least 43 people have died after a Russian trawler sank late on Wednesday in the Western Pacific Ocean near the Kamchatka Peninsula, the TASS news agency reported, citing an officer at a maritime rescue coordination centre in the area.

There were 132 people on board the Dalniy Vostok freezer trawler and 63 people have been rescued, TASS said.

Russian keeper hit by flare during Euro qualifying match

Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev has been struck by a flare thrown from the crowd during a Euro 2016 qualifier in Montenegro.

The moment the flare struck Igor Akinfeev was recorded on the match footage. Credit: Sky Calcio HD

The match was briefly suspended and the teams taken off the field after the incident shortly after kick off at the Gradski Stadium in Podorica.

Akinfeev was taken away for treatment before the players returned to continue the match.

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PM sets up £20 million fund for eastern European states

David Cameron has launched a new drive to bolster former communist states under pressure from Vladimir Putin as the stand-off between Russia and the West over Ukraine continues.

The Prime Minister is setting up a £20 million Good Governance Fund to strengthen democratic institutions across a series of Eastern European states to help them counter intimidation from the Kremlin.

Prime Minister David Cameron arrives ahead of the EU Summit . Credit: Wiktor Dabkowski/DPA/PA Wire

British officials said the scheme is based on the Know-How Fund set up by Margaret Thatcher following the fall of the Berlin Wall to help Poland and other former Soviet bloc states make the transition to democracy.

The move came as EU leaders meeting in Brussels agreed there would be no easing of sanctions against Moscow until it was clear the Minsk ceasefire deal was being fully honoured.

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Biden and Poroshenko agree over Russian sanctions

US Vice President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko have agreed that sanctions against Russia must be tied to the full implementation of the Minsk peace plan, the White House said.

US Vice President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Credit: Andreas Gebert/DPA/PA Images

"As long as Russia continues to fuel violence and instability in Ukraine, the international community must be prepared to increase the costs to Russia for pursuing such actions," a statement reads.

Biden also welcomed the decision by the Ukrainian parliament to allow special status for rebel-controlled eastern regions and grant them limited self-rule.

Biden and Poroshenko made the agreement in a telephone call.

President Putin: Life would be 'boring without gossip'

Russian President Vladimir Putin has responded to suggestions that he had been forced to lie low because of ill health saying that life without rumours would be boring.

"It would be boring without gossip," Putin said in his first public appearance since March 5.

Putin is meeting with Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev in Saint Petersburg.

Russia's President Putin to return after 10 day absence

President Vladimir Putin is set to appear in public later after an unusually long 10-day absence. Putin is expected to meet with Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev in Saint Petersburg. A Kremlin official told AFP that the meeting was on track to take place.

Russia's President Putin to return after 10 day absence. Credit: PA

The Russian President was last seen in public at a news conference on March 5 with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

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