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Putin warns of reviewing Western energy firm deals

Vladimir Putin has said Russia could reconsider the participation of Western companies in its economy, including energy projects, if sanctions continued.

We would very much wish not to resort to any measures in response.

But if something like that continues, we will of course have to think about who is working in the key sectors of the Russian economy, including the energy sector, and how.

– Russian President Vladimir Putin

The United States on Monday announced a new round of sanctions aimed at business leaders and companies close to Putin, while the European Union followed up on Tuesday by naming 15 Russians and Ukrainians to its blacklist, moving to freeze assets and deny visas.

Ex German Chancellor pictured embracing Putin

Once one of the most prominent European leaders, Germany's former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, is facing heavy criticism after photographs showing the retired leader in a warm embrace with Russian President Vladimir Putin emerged.

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder Credit: Reuters

The German government and media distanced themselves from the ex Chancellor.

Der Spiegel, a national magazine, published the photographs along with a commentary that said: "Schroeder celebrates his birthday with Putin and makes Germany's foreign policy look absurd."

Mr Schroeder's office had no comment on the pictures, which according to the media reports were taken on Monday evening outside the Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg where he was attending a belated celebration of his 70th birthday.

Read: EU expands Russia sanctions amid Ukraine crisis

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Vladimir Putin says the internet is a 'CIA project'

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Ukraine against using the army on its own population Credit: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin has derided the internet as a Central Intelligence Agency project and has pledged to protect Russia's interests online.

According to the Associated Press, Putin mocked the World Wide Web at a media forum in St. Petersburg, claiming that it was "originally a CIA project" and is "still developing as such".

The Kremlin has long sought greater controls over the internet as many opposition activists, who are banned from state media, use the medium to promote their views and organise protests.

Read: Russia blocks Ukraine protest websites

Putin: US-Russian 'reset' was over before Crimea

The much-vaunted 'reset' in relations between the US and Russia was already over before the crisis in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has said.

The Russian President said the conflict in Libya had already soured relations between the two powers but he insisted Russia would do "everything possible" to restore trust.

Read: Putin: 'God knows' why Donetsk is part of Ukraine

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Putin: 'God knows' why Donetsk is part of Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has expressed disbelief that areas of eastern Ukraine were ever ceded from Russia.

Mr Putin said Russian-speaking cities such as Donetsk and Kharkiv were historically part of 'Novorossiya' [New Russia] during the Tsarist era and "God knows" why they became part of Ukraine.

The area in question was transferred to Ukraine during the Soviet era.

Read: Foreign ministers to meet in Geneva for Ukraine crisis talks

Putin: 'No Russian involvement in eastern Ukraine'

Vladimir Putin has denied any Russian involvement in the unrest in eastern Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin speaking on Russian television this morning Credit: RTV

Speaking during a televised phone-in on Russian television, the President said there were "no special forces, no instructors" from Russia in eastern Ukraine and that those taking up arms were "all local people".

He also called for "dialogue" between pro-Russian elements in the east of the country and the authorities in Kiev.

Mr Putin also struck a conciliatory tone, saying that Russia and Ukraine "share an enormous number of interests and if we want to be successful we must work together".

Nigel Farage on Putin: I don't like the man

Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage have clashed over British foreign policy regarding Ukraine, Russia and Syria.

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Farage turns Putin problem into UK not getting involved in foreign adventures. #europedebate

Mr Farage also attempted to clarify comments he made about Russian president Vladimir Putin, saying he admired him "as an operator" but not as a man.

Nigel Farage admires 'Putin as a leader'

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