ukraine gun
An armed pro-Russian man stands guard at a barricade near the state security service building in Slaviansk. The sticker on the rifle reads:'Republic of Donetsk' Reuters

Moscow slammed the European Union on Tuesday and accused it of doing Washington's bidding, after the bloc imposed sanctions on Russia.

In a statement released by the foreign ministry, Russia said the EU should be ashamed of itself.

"Instead of forcing the Kiev clique to sit at the table with southeastern Ukraine to negotiate the future structure of the country, our partners are doing Washington's bidding with new unfriendly gestures aimed at Russia."

The EU issued fresh sanctions against 15 politicians and military leaders on Tuesday over Russia's role in the ongoing Ukraine crisis.

The EU penalties slapped travel bans and asset freezes on individuals with close ties to the Kremlin, including Russia's deputy PM Dmitry Kozak and separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine.

European sanctions followed hot on the heels of American sanctions, announced on Monday. The White House targeted companies as well as a number of individuals, including Igor Sechin, CEO of the Russian oil giant Rosneft.

Washington and Brussels agreed to impose new sanctions against Russia after it failed to implement an agreement to de-escalate the standoff in Ukraine's east. Pro-Russian militias have seized and continue to occupy government buildings in towns and cities across Ukraine's east.

The US has taken a much more belligerent lead on punishing Russia than the EU, which relies on Moscow for trade and energy, including a third of its gas needs.

Meanwhile, the European Commission is compiling a list of sanctions that could target the energy or financial sectors, that could be imposed on Russia at a later date.