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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Kremlin official: Ukraine 'light at the end of the tunnel'

The head of the Kremlin's human rights council has been quoted as saying a ceasefire by Kiev and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine would provide "light at the end of the tunnel" in the five-month-old conflict.

"I think we are already seeing the light at the end of the tunnel," Mikhail Fedotov told the Russian news agency Interfax.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mikhail Fedotov. Credit: Reuters/Mikhail Klimentyev/Ria Novosti

He added: "If an agreement is reached on a ceasefire, it will be mean the path is open to normal negotiations, normal political dialogue. The important first step is a ceasefire."

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