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West plans more Russia sanctions amid Ukraine crisis

Sep 05, 2014
From wire reports, RIGA

West plans more Russia sanctions amid Ukraine crisis
NATO leaders at the summit in Wales (photo: twitter)

Western leaders could announce new sanctions against Russia during a major NATO Summit in Wales today, U.S. and British officials say.

The fresh sanctions will target Russia's defense, national banks, energy sector and Russian President Vladimir Putin's allies amid the crisis in the Ukraine.

However, officials added that the implementation could be delayed pending the ceasefire talks in Minsk. Talks are currently under way between Ukrainian, Russian and pro Russia rebels over a potential ceasefire in the country.

Fighting rages on however in eastern Ukraine with the town of Mariupol coming under shelling, the BBC reports. 

French President Francois Hollande said that the sanctions against Russia would be announced on Friday over the situation in Ukraine depending on further events, adding that "everything will depend on the coming hours".

Previous information in the media indicates that NATO and several member states promised to allot 15 million euros to Kiev's defense funds to improve Ukraine's military capabilities, Poroshenko said on Thursday.

Latvia's defense minister Raimonds Vejonis said his country was ready to support the Ukraine with defense funds and military training. 

Also today, NATO leaders are expected to confirm plans to deploy soldiers and military equipment in Eastern Europe

Estonia's foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Latvian foreign minister Edgars Rinkevics supported plans to welcome other countries in to NATO including Georgia, Macedonia and Greece.

Meanwhile, Russia has drawn up a seven point peace plan calling on Ukrainian forces to withdraw from key cities including Luhansk.

Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite said a peaceful solution should not be reached through a 'one sided ultimatum'

When asked about rebels' promises to respect a ceasefire once the Ukrainian forces retreat, Grybauskaite said they should be called criminals instead. 

Grybauskaite stressed that the ''so called rebels are criminals who are fully supplied, armed and supported by Russia.' The president added that this is not a revolt but an open Russian aggression against Ukraine.

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