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 and Russia agree permanent ceasefire in region

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has reached an agreement with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on a "permanent ceasefire" in eastern Ukraine's Donbass region, his office has announced.

Fighting has been ongoing in the Donbass region of eastern Ukaine. Credit: REUTERS/Maks Levin

"Mutual understanding was achieved concerning the steps which will enable the establishment of peace," a statement said after Poroshenko and Putin spoke by phone.

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