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NATO to sanction Russia as Ukraine heads into peace talks

Pro-Russian separatists patrol a road in the village of Novokaterinovka, some 50km southeast of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on September 4, 2014NATO leaders are expected to announce a raft of fresh sanctions against Russia on Friday over its actions in Ukraine, although hopes remain that a ceasefire can be forged at peace talks in Minsk on the same day. The leaders are heading into the second and final day of a NATO summit in Newport, Wales that has been labelled the most critical since the end of the Cold War for the Western military alliance as it addresses a multitude of crises from Ukraine to Iraq to Afghanistan. They agreed on Thursday to set up new funds to help Ukraine’s military effort and treat wounded soldiers in a five-month conflict that has seen more than 2,600 people killed. EU and US officials said sanctions against Russia would be announced on Friday in response to a major escalation of Russian military support to the rebels in eastern Ukraine in recent days.

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