Ukraine PM: Keep sanctions on Russia until territory regained

Ukraine's prime minister has urged the world not to lift sanctions against Russia until his country regains control over its entire territory, including Crimea.

A "significant" number of Russian troops have now withdrawn from Ukraine, a Nato spokesman said.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jay Janzen told Reuters: "There has been a significant pullback of Russian conventional forces from inside Ukraine, but many thousands are still deployed in the vicinity of the border."

It comes after the two countries agreed a ceasefire deal earlier this month.

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Obama discusses Ukraine with German Chancellor

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama Credit: Kay Nietfeld/DPA/Press Association Images

President Obama spoke by telephone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the ongoing situation in Ukraine, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

Carney said the call, which happened while Obama was traveling on Air Force One from Austin, Texas, was "just to check in on the situation." He said more details would be provided later on Thursday.

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