1529: The EU has urged Moscow to distance itself from the referendums in southeastrn Ukraine.
1245: Russia's Economics Minister, Alexei Ulyukayev, believes that the country's gross domestic product might contract in the second quarter and that an interest rate cut by the central bank in June would be "worthwhile".
1235: The Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk have begun talks aimed at their unification, RIA Novosti reports. A phone opinion poll conducted by the German TV channel N-TV has yielded a surprise finding that 89% of its viewers sympathize with Russian President Vladimir Putin's policy on Ukraine, the same agency says.
1102: Beijing has blamed the Ukrainian crisis on the toppling of that country's legitimate government, according to Interfax.
1058: Western sanctions against Russia will not help settle Ukraine crisis, Interfax says.
1027: Speaking on Bloomberg TV Thomas Cook's CEO said they have been seeing less Chinese travellers to Russia and fewer travellers from that country as a result of the current crisis in Ukraine.
0900: Separatist leaders in Ukraine's volatile Donetsk region formally asked to become part of Russia on Monday, going beyond the simple independence question raised in a referendum and advancing the threat of Ukraine's break-up. The declaration bore some resemblance to the referendum and annexation scenario that played out in Crimea earlier this year, but signs of a different approach by Russia are starting to emerge The Wall Street Journal Europe reported.
-- Tuesday May 12th --
1359: Russia will study OSCE road map for Ukraine, Putin says, according to Interfax.
1155: German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has been cited as saying that there is 'growing momentum amongst a series of separatist groups who neither listen to Moscow, nor to Kiev'. He said that growing instability in Ukraine 'isn't in Russia's interest in the long-term'.
1154: Concrete steps where outlined to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine at the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the OSCE´s Chairman, primarily through increased dialogue between the authorities in Kiev and those representing the separatists in the countrys southeast.
1055: The Donetsk region will not postpone the referendum it had planned for May 11th, Interfax reports, citing the regional government´s Co-Chairman.
-- Thursday May 8th --
1526: Following his meeting with the Chairman of the OSCE Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked representatives of Ukraine´s southeastern regions to reschedule a referendum which was meant to take place on May 11th, according to Interfax. Putin has also called on Ukraine to halt all punitive measures now in course.
1031: According to reports the Chairman of the US Senate´s Foreign Relations committee has said the US should consider targeting Rosneft and Gazprom with sanction.
1008: Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss President Didier Burkhalter in Moscow on Wednesday, Interfax reports, Interfax says.
1006: The city council of the city of Donetsk has called for a halt on military operations in the eastern regions of Ukraine. In parallel, Ukrainian ministers are travelling to Kharkiv to discuss constitutional reform with representatives from that region. To take note of as well, separatists have confirmed that Ukrainian security forces took control of Mariupol City Council, Interfax reports.
0950: The top ranking official at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has called for a ceasefire in Ukraine so that "fair and inclusive" elections can be held on May 25th. That came as pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbass said they will hold a referendum on secession on Sunday May 11th. The US Secretary of State has warned that any such attempt would be "bogus" and further sanctions would be applied on Russia if it went ahead. FTSE 100 down 26 to 6,772.40.
0940: The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) said it had received evidence of Russian side "preparing for and coordinating" referendums in eastern regions of Ukraine, according to reports in the Kyiv Post citing the SBU press center on Wednesday.
0915: Finland and Sweden have agreed a defence pact, as the crisis in Ukraine continues. The two countries agreed to look into pooling their defence resources, reports Bloomberg, conducting a study to find ways to ensure that money spent on arms will stretch a longer way. Cooperation will begin next year with a focus on 2016 and beyond.
-- Wednesday May 7th --
1155: Early Sunday morning three 'activists' were shot to death at a roadblock near the city of Slovyansk, according to Ukraine's Interior Ministry. The attackers reportedly took the wounded and killed along with them. It is the first bloodshed since the agreement reached on Thursday to de-escalate the situation. Another roadblock near Dobropillya, in the Donetsk region, which was manned by Ukrainian marines, was also attacked. Some market commentary holds that these events, along with the refusal from pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine to abandon the buildings which they have seized, puts the effectiveness of that accord in doubt. Two members of the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee have called for further sanctions, this time on Russia's energy and banking sectors, to be imposed. On Sunday, the FT reported that some Japanese banks having pared their credit exposure to Russian companies recently.
-- Monday April 21st --
1909: Multilateral talks held today in Geneva to discuss the situation in Ukraine ended with an accord on measures to de-escalate the conflict.
A joint statement issued by the Russian Federation, Ukraine, the US and the European Union read: "The Geneva meeting on the situation in Ukraine agreed on initial concrete steps to de-escalate tensions and restore security for all citizens."
"All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions."
Amongst the measures cited is an agreement to return all illegally seized buildings to their legitimate owners, alongside all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns, which must be vacated.
15:50 A crowd of pro-Russian demonstrators are headed to Donetsk airport with the apparent intention of seizing control, reports a Guardian journalist en route to the scene.
15:05 Ukraine's parliament has voted to consider bringing back conscription to boost military numbers, according to Agence France-Presse.
Kiev lawmakers approved a document that recommended to acting President Oleksandr Turchynov "restart conscription into the Ukraine armed forces without delay" in order to "bolster Ukraine's defence capabilities in connection with aggression from the Russian Federation".
Former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych had only recently brought in a law to scrap compulsory military service for young men. Ukraine's armed forces currently number 130,000.
14:55 Russian airline Aeroflot announced on its Facebook page that the Ukrainian government had been imposing tight restrictions on men travelling to Ukraine from Russia.
To enter, men aged between the ages of 16 and 60 must have proof of a reason to visit such as death or severe illness to a close family member, or an invitation from a business, or were traveling with their families. Similar restrictions apply to Ukrainians registered in the Autonomous Region of Crimea and city of Sevastopol.
14:05 The European Union has agreed to Russia's demand for discussion between Moscow and Kiev on gas security, but disputed Gazprom's right to threaten to partially or completely cut off the supply of gas into Ukraine.
In an open letter to Putin, EU President José Manuel Barroso pointed out that Ukraine was a conduit and that supply contracts "are between European companies and Gazprom".
"It therefore continues to be Gazprom's responsibility to ensure the deliveries of the required volumes as agreed in the supply contracts. The European Union has repeatedly stated that we expect commercial operators on all sides to continue respecting their contractual obligations and commitments."
13:55 Ukraine has restarted imports of natural gas from Poland this week, maxing out the carrying capacity of a pipeline, the Polish Gaz System transit operator was reported as saying by RIA Novosti.
The delivery came following an agreement between German's RWE and Ukraine's state-run Naftogaz. Under the agreement, Germany will supply Ukraine with 10bn cubic meters of gas.
13:45 Russian President Vladimir Putin has not rule out his "right" to send troops across the border into Ukraine again.
He said the upper house of Russian parliament, the Federation Council, had granted him "the right" to use military force in Ukraine.
"I really hope that I do not have to exercise that right and that we are able to solve all today's pressing issues via political and diplomatic means," he said during his marathon televised Q&A session on Thursday.
13:40 The press conference following the multilateral talks held this morning in Geneva to discuss the crisis in Ukraine is about to start.
12:30 MEPs have voted for the EU to step up sanctions against individual Russians and be ready to impose economic sanctions on Russia immediately.
A press release from the European Parliament said the vote called for EU measures against Russian firms and their subsidiaries, especially in the energy sector, and Russia's EU assets, citing the background of violence designed to destabilise the east and south of Ukraine.
"Parliament is gravely concerned about the fast-deteriorating situation and bloodshed in the east and south of Ukraine," the statement read. "It urges Russia immediately to stop supporting violent separatists and armed militias, led by Russian special forces, as well as to remove its troops from the eastern border of Ukraine."
12:15 Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hoped not to send Russian troops into Ukraine but did not rule this measure out. During his televised question and answer session with the Russian public, Putin denied financing the uprising in the east of Ukraine or sending Russian forces there.
He accused Kiev of committing "a serious crime" by using the military to quell unrest and said Russia's annexation of Crimea was partly triggered by Nato expansion.
The Guardian reported that Putin accused the Kiev authorities of pulling the country into an "abyss" and called on them to pull back heavy artillery from the east of the country, asking: "Who are you going to use it against? Have you completely lost your marbles?"
11:30 A freelance journalist has been "taken prisoner" by Kremlin-backed militants in Slovyansk, Donetsk Oblast, according to reports in the Kyiv Post.
Serhiy Lefter, who was being employed by Open Dialogue Foundation, has been accused of espionage and of being a member of a militant group.
According to the foundation, he has currently being held in the basement of the Security Service of Ukraine building in Slovyansk on Karl Marx Street to where he was transferred from the local council building.
11:14 Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hopes the Ukraine crisis can be solved in a diplomatic way.
In remarks during his annual call-in live broadcast, reported by Interfax, he added that he hopes that he will not have to use right given to him by the federation council to send troops to Ukraine. At the same time, he added that a compromise ought to be reached within Ukraine itself, without interferences from third parties.
Putin also urged the Ukraine and Moldova to lift their blockade of Transdniestria.
11:00 Ukrainian forces have killed three pro-Russian militants, Bloomberg reports, during an attack on a national guard base in the south-eastern city of Mariupol.
Police also wounded 13 fighters after about 300 fired on guards and threw Molotov cocktails in the southeast Ukrainian city of overnight, according to a post by Interior Minister Arsen Avakov on Facebook.