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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 rebels 'make proposals for ceasefire'

Rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine have formulated plans for a ceasefire with Kiev that are close to a plan outlined by Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Russian news agency Interfax.

Leaders of the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics proposed the creation of a "security zone" split into five sections, each of which would be monitored by 40 observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Rebels also said they would allow a humanitarian corridor for refugees and aid as part of the proposed ceasefire "in order to stabilise the situation and stop the bloodshed."

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