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 ceasefire being observed 'in general'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine is being observed "in general" but "there are incidents when the sides blame each other".

He told a news conference today that Moscow hopes talks will soon start on the status of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

However, he raised concerns over the "heavy concentration" of Ukrainian troops in parts of eastern Ukraine.

Four Ukrainian servicemen 'killed since ceasefire'

Four Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and 29 injured since the start of the ceasefire on Friday, according to a defence ministry source quoted by Russia's Interfax news agency.

The ceasefire has largely held across eastern Ukraine, but some areas, especially in the industrial area of Donetsk and near the port city of Mariupol, have seen sporadic shelling and gunfire.


New EU Russia sanctions come into force 'in days'

The EU has now formally adopted new sanctions against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine according to the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy.

He added that the new penalties will come into force "in the next few days" to leave time to assess whether the current ceasefire is holding.

Depending on the situation on the ground, the EU stands ready to review the agreed sanctions in whole or in part."

– President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy

Ukraine President: Nato will provide direct supply of weapons

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko says a number of Nato countries have agreed to deliver weapons directly to Kiev.

In a statement President Poroshenko said several countries were prepared to supply "state-of-the-art weapons" to help in the fight against pro-Russian separatists. He said: "Although we count solely on ourselves, we vitally need financial and technical military assistance. And we will get it".

He added that in general the current ceasefire was holding except for incidents in Donetsk and Mariupol.

EU delays new sanctions against Russia

European Union governments have delayed signing off on a new package of sanctions against Russia over its involvement in Ukraine as a fragile ceasefire continues.

Some governments want to discuss how the sanctions, which have been agreed in principle, can be implemented and then suspended if the truce holds or even if they are needed at all at this stage, according to diplomats.


OSCE confirms mortar fire near Donetsk airport

The official monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine says it has observed mortar fire near Donetsk International Airport and exchanges of fire in the surrounding area.

Damage to buildings, reportedly from shelling, in Spartak near the Ukrainian city of Donetsk

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe monitoring mission's most recent report, from Sunday, noted "evidence of an exchange of fire close to the area of Donetsk International Airport, and in Shchastya, 20 km north of Luhansk".

It also saw "numerous impacts from shelling" in nearby Spartak, and heard shelling close to the coastal city of Mariupol on Saturday night.

Ukrainian President visits besieged city of Mariupol

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has arrived in the south-eastern city of Mariupol, his press secretary Svyatoslav Tsegolko reported on Twitter.

President Poroshenko is quoted as saying: "We will not give up this land to anybody".

He also ordered the reinforced defence of Mariupol with tanks, rocket-launchers and aerial defence, according to Reuters.

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