Russia brands new sanctions roadblock to Ukraine peace

Ukrainian soldiers fire a missile with a man-portable air-defense system during exercices near the city of Shchastya, north of Lugansk, on December 1, 2014Russia accused the West on Saturday of stoking unrest in Ukraine by adopting anti-Kremlin sanctions that further erode the prospect of peace talks to end the separatist war. The sudden glimmer of hope that the end of Europe’s worst violence since the 1990s Balkans conflicts was approaching has seen Western allies step up their pressure on Russia, already reeling from its worst economic crisis of Vladimir Putin’s 15-year rule. The United States matched a similar measure by the European Union by slapping a trade ban on Kremlin-controlled Crimea. Canada went a step further by also targeting Russia’s vital oil and gas industry.

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