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US warns Russia 'costs will rise' unless peace deal agreed

The White House said President Barack Obama urged Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call to agree to a peace deal.

"If Russia continues its aggressive actions in Ukraine, including by sending troops, weapons, and financing to support the separatists, the costs for Russia will rise," the White House statement added.

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Cameron accused of becoming a 'diplomatic irrelevance'

David Cameron is facing accusations that he has become a "diplomatic irrelevance" as France and Germany spearhead a new push to broker a peace plan in Ukraine.

Britain's former top Nato commander General Sir Richard Shirreff said the UK should be playing a major role in the efforts to resolve the crisis amid fears that it could lead to an all-out war in Europe.

Prime Minister David Cameron is facing criticism over the Ukraine crisis. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "This is the most serious crisis to have faced Europe, arguably, since the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. There is a threat of total war.

"The UK is a major Nato member, it is a major EU member, it is a member of the UN Security Council, and it is unfortunate that the weight that the British Prime Minister could bring to efforts to resolve this crisis appear to be absent."

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