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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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Ukraine wants to become Nato member amid conflict

Ukrainian prime minister Arseny Yatseniuk said his government would ask parliament to abandon Ukraine's non-aligned status and set the country on course to seek to become a member of Nato.

He added that the basic aim of Ukrainian foreign policy remained to become a member of the European Union.

Ukrainian troops are locked in a five-month conflict with Russian-backed separatist rebels.

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