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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Rebels 'agree to provide humanitarian corridor'

A leader of pro-Moscow rebel forces in eastern Ukraine, Alexander Zakharchenko, said he had agreed to open a humanitarian corridor for encircled Ukraine troops after Russian President Vladimir Putin's statement.

Putin called on the rebels to provide the corridor in the east of the country to allow Ukrainian government troops to leave the battlefield.

"We are ready to give a humanitarian corridor," Zakharchenko, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, told Rossiya 24 TV, adding that troops would have to leave their heavy armoured vehicles and ammunition.

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