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Obama announces sanctions on Russia as Ukraine tensions mount

Pro-Russian activists stand guard outside a regional television station after it was seized by separatists in the eastern city of Donetsk, on April 27, 2014Slavyansk (Ukraine) (AFP) – President Barack Obama said Monday the United States was poised to unveil fresh sanctions against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, as pro-Kremlin gunmen seized another town in the east. Speaking in the Philippines, Obama said the sanctions would include export restrictions on high-tech goods in a bid to ratchet up pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin, blamed for the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War. Separately, top EU officials were to meet in Brussels to step up European sanctions on Russia as part of a coordinated global effort against Moscow. On the ground in eastern Ukraine, tensions remained at fever pitch as gunmen stormed the town hall and police offices in Kostyantynivka, the latest in a string of assaults by insurgents on towns in the region.

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