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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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Russia calls for 'peaceful settlement' in Ukraine

Russia has called for peace in Ukraine as it tries to push for a ceasefire.

Russia foreign minister Sergei Lavrov urged for a new round of talks on the issue and said: "We call for an exclusively peaceful settlement of this severe crisis, this tragedy."

If talks are successful pro-Russian separatists said they will release Ukrainian prisoners-of-war. Credit: Reuters

Pro-Russian separatist leader Andrei Purgin said they were willing to discuss the exchange of prisoners and a temporary ceasefire.

Fighting in eastern Ukraine between separatists and the Ukrainian government has been going on since Russia annexed Ukraine's southern peninsula of Crimea in April.

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