US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced late Tuesday they are ready to coordinate possible new sanctions against Russia, according to the White House statement issued on the results of the phone conversation between the two leaders.
“The President and the Chancellor reaffirmed their commitment to work together with other allies to ensure that Europe and the United States remain closely coordinated on measures to impose costs on Russia, as necessary, as well as to continue to support Ukraine’s long-term stability and prosperity,” the statement reads.
Obama and Merkel also urged Russia to take “immediate steps to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine amid the ongoing violence there”. According to them, these measures should include “supporting a bilateral ceasefire, a roadmap for talks under the OSCE-mediated contact group, and the establishment of an OSCE border monitoring mechanism.”
The two leaders stated that Moscow should call on its supporters in the southeastern Ukraine to lay down arms and release all hostages. Obama and Merkel once again accused Russia of supplying self-defense militia with arms and fighters.
“The leaders agreed that to date neither the United States nor Germany has seen Russia fulfill these required actions,” the White House statement said.
Meanwhile, Ykraine’s President Petro Poroshenko urged European Union to take tough action against Russia over the separatist conflict in Ukraine’s eastern regions at a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Wednesday.
Poroshenko’s website said he had spoken to Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, after intensified fighting in the east, in which Kyiv has alleged Russian involvement in an air strike on a residential area and the downing of a military transport plane. Poroshenko informed Van Rompuy of new evidence of rebel fighters crossing into Ukraine from Russia along with heavy military equipment and arms, his website said.