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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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Seven Nato allies plan rapid reaction force in Ukraine

Seven Nato allies are to create a new rapid reaction force of at least 10,000 soldiers to boost NATO defences in response to Russia's intervention in Ukraine, according to the Financial Times.

David Cameron is expected to announce the creation of the force ahead of the Nato summit next week. Credit: Reuters

The British-led force would include air and naval units as well as ground troops, the newspaper said.

Other countries involved include Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway and the Netherlands. Canada has also expressed an interest in taking part, it said.

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