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Divided EU in new talks on Russia sanctions over Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers patrol a checkpoint on September 10, 2014, near the small eastern city of SlavyanoserbskThe European Union holds a new round of talks on Thursday to try to agree on the latest round of sanctions against Moscow as a fragile truce in Ukraine appeared to be largely holding. EU leaders agreed last week to slap more punitive measures targeting Russia’s stagnant economy but Friday’s ceasefire forced a rethink on the timing of the sanctions. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Wednesday for the new restrictions to be introduced quickly as they could always be lifted if the ceasefire keeps a lid on the five months of fighting in eastern Ukraine. In a surprise announcement on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Russia had withdrawn the bulk of its forces from his country and pledged greater autonomy for the separatist east in moves that could help sustain the peace pact.

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