Russia faces threat of fresh sanctions from West

As fighting flared up in eastern Ukraine despite a truce between the government and pro-Russian rebels, the Western countries have warned Kremlin of new sanctions, BBC reported Wednesday.

IANS| Last Updated: Jun 25, 2014, 18:50 PM IST

London: As fighting flared up in eastern Ukraine despite a truce between the government and pro-Russian rebels, the Western countries have warned Kremlin of new sanctions, BBC reported Wednesday.

In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said new sanctions could be applied if efforts to stabilise the situation were not speeded up.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said inaction by Russia would mean a stronger case for sanctions.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko warned he might end the truce due to violations. The ceasefire began Friday.

On Tuesday, a Ukrainian military helicopter was shot down, leaving nine people dead.

The Ukrainian military accused the rebels Wednesday of breaking the ceasefire 44 times since it started.

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. Over 420 people have been killed in the region since mid-April, the UN estimates.

The Ukrainian president is expected to unveil proposals for constitutional reforms 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, an agreement which was rejected in January by then president Viktor Yanukovych under pessure from Russia.