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EU's Van Rompuy: Russia must stop support to Ukraine separatists

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Russia must stop support from its territory to pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, the chairman of European Union leaders Herman Van Rompuy said on Saturday after a Ukrainian military plane was downed by the separatists, killing 49.

The plane was hit by an anti-aircraft missile as it came in to land at the airport outside the city of Luhansk, a center of the rebellion against central rule that began in April.

“There is ... no doubt that the armed fighters that are terrorising and disrupting the lives of citizens in Ukraine, are enjoying external support, including arms supply and reinforcement through foreign fighters,” Van Rompuy said.

“As a neighboring state, Russia bears a primary responsibility in ensuring that any such traffic and external support through its borders is immediately stopped,” he said in a statement.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski, editing by David Evans