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US talking to European allies for more Russian sanctions

US Vice President Joe Biden has told Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko that the United States was working with European leaders on further sanctions on Russia, over the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine.

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Putin aide: Ceasefire needed 'as soon as possible'

Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin talk before the World Cup final. Credit: REUTERS/Alexey Nikolsky

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed that the Ukraine situation "has a tendency towards degradation" and have urged greater peace efforts, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.

He said: "Both Putin and Merkel stressed the necessity to urgently resume the work of a contact group on Ukraine.

"It is their common opinion that, in order for the contact group to resume its work, a ceasefire needs to be declared as soon as possible," Peskov said.

The two leaders met briefly before the World Cup final in Brazil.

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