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January 27, 2022

West warns Russia of sanctions amid Ukraine fighting

Russian senate repeals law allowing deployment of military in Ukraine. Ukrainians flee into Russia.

The West has warned Russia of new sanctions after fighting flared up in eastern Ukraine despite a truce between the government and pro-Russian rebels, the BBC reports.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Berlin that new sanctions could be applied if efforts to stabilise the situation were not speeded up. UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said inaction by Russia would mean a stronger case for sanctions.
President Petro Poroshenko warned he might end the truce due to violations.
The ceasefire began on Friday. On Tuesday, a Ukrainian military helicopter was shot down with the loss of nine lives.
There was fighting overnight into Wednesday near the Russian border in Luhansk region.
The Ukrainian military accused the rebels on Wednesday of breaking the ceasefire 44 times since it began. A separatist leader said there had “been no ceasefire”.
The truce is part of Ukraine’s plan to end two months of fighting between government troops and pro-Russian insurgents who control key buildings in towns and cities across the east. More than 420 people have been killed in the region since mid-April, the UN estimates.
President Poroshenko is expected to unveil proposals for constitutional reform to give regions greater self-government when he attends parliament on Thursday.
On Friday, he is due to sign the long-delayed association agreement with the EU – a pact that was rejected in January by then President Viktor Yanukovych under heavy pressure from Russia.
Mrs Merkel welcomed the surprise decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin to cancel a parliamentary resolution authorising him to use Russian forces in Ukraine. The cancellation was ratified by Russia’s upper house of parliament on Wednesday.
While Mrs Merkel said the decision was “psychologically important”, she told German parliament that Ukrainian soldiers continued to die.

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