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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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EU urged to hold off Russia sanctions after ceasefire

Ambassadors of European Union countries have not yet reached a decision on whether to implement new sanctions against Russia, Brussels diplomats have said.

The EU figures said that while Germany was pushing to have the sanctions implemented, several other EU countries wanted to hold off because the ceasefire in Ukraine was holding.

Countries with close ties to Russia, including Italy, Austria and Finland were said to be reluctant to implement the new sanctions.

They added, however, that the general idea was still for the sanctions to be implemented through publication in the Official Journal of the European Union on Friday.

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