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Russia says EU 'against peace' as US backs new sanctions

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the European Union has "made its choice against" a peace process in Ukraine by approving tougher sanctions against Russia.

President Barack Obama said the United States will join the EU in imposing sanctions on Russia's financial, energy and defence sectors after Moscow sent troops into eastern Ukraine last month.

David Cameron has spoken to European leaders and agreed to push ahead with the sanctions by the end of the week, his spokesman has confirmed.

After the announcement the Russian rouble reached a new historic low against the dollar.

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Putin likens Ukrainian assault to 'Nazi siege'

Vladimir Putin's military has been accused of invading Ukraine. Credit: Reuters

Vladimir Putin has said the Ukrainian assault on eastern cities of the country is reminiscent of the Nazi siege of Leningrad in World War II.

The Russian president said "the problem" in the conflict was the Ukrainian authorities' refusal to enter substantive negotiations with pro-Russian separatists.

He added that Russians and Ukrainians are "practically one people".

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