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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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US 'should arm Ukraine against Russian invasion'

The US, the European Union and Nato should arm Ukraine in its effort to repel a "Russian invasion," according to the chairman of the US senate's foreign relations committee.

Democratic senator Robert Menendez told CNN's State of the Union programme: "This is a direct invasion by Russia. It's not rebels, it's Russian soldiers."

US Senator Robert Menendez said the US, the EU and Nato should arm Ukraine. Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Erns

He added that the US, EU and Nato "should be providing the Ukrainians with the types of defensive weapons that will impose a cost upon (Russian President Vladimir) Putin for further aggression."

Asked whether President Obama's administration is considering such a move, he said: "I think that may very well be on the table right now. These are changed circumstances."

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