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Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has held talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Tajikistan. The two sides have discussed a host of regional and international issues, including Iran’s nuclear program.

Rouhani and Putin expressed support for a comprehensive nuclear deal between Tehran and the P5+1 countries within the agreed deadline.

Iran and the permanents members of the UN Security Council plus Germany had agreed to reach a final nuclear deal by July 20.

The two parties later extended the deadline until November 24, after holding several rounds of talks.

During their discussions in the Tajik capital, Rouhani and Putin stressed the need for an expansion of political and economic ties between Tehran and Moscow.

Rouhani was in Dushanbe to attend and address the 14th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

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Russia to take “adequate measures” over planned new sanctions.

Tensions between Moscow and the EU are running high over the new sanctions the European bloc has agreed to slap on Russia over Ukraine’s crisis. Moscow now says it will take adequate measures in response to the fresh sanctions.

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s comments come after European Union diplomats said the new sanctions will take effect on Friday.

In a statement, the bloc said under the new sanctions, EU nationals and companies may no longer provide loans to five major state-owned banks in Russia.

Debt financing to six major Russian defense companies and energy firms has also been banned.

The new measures ban providing supplies and services necessary for Arctic and deep-water oil explorations and production, as well as shale oil projects. 24 people, accused of involvement in Ukraine’s crisis, have been hit with travel bans and asset freezes.

The EU, however, has said that the sanctions could be lifted after a review of the ceasefire in Ukraine at the end of the month.

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US created Ukrainian crisis to separate Russia from Europe.

An American author and investigative journalist says the US created the crisis in Ukraine in an effort to demonize Russia and separate it from Europe.

The US is obviously using this Ukrainian crisis to demonize Russia,” said Dave Lindorff in an interview with Press TV on Wednesday and a day after US State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf said the White House is mulling to increase more sanctions on Russia based on what will happen in Ukraine in the coming days.

He added that there is no “concrete evidence” that Russia is behind the crisis in Ukraine.

Lindorff, on the other hand, blamed Washington for helping pro-Western forces in Ukraine to topple the pro-Russian government of president Viktor Yanukovych back in February 2014.

“The United States spent $5 billion undermining the government of Ukraine and supported the putsch that ousted elected president Yanukovych.”

Lindorff said that it is “ridiculous” for the United States to claim that the crisis in Ukraine is Russia’s fault.

“Having said that it is clear that the United States for some time, as far as the Bush administration and even the Clinton administration, has been trying to demonize Russia and this is their best shot yet in order to separate it from Europe.”

Lindorff went on to explain that what is going on in Ukraine now is to “prevent Russia from becoming an integral part of Europe.”

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