"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 independence 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, although President Vladimir Putin had repeatedly denied the allegations, saying that no Russian weapons or servicemen had ever been deployed in Ukraine "and never will be”.
"The leaders agreed that to date neither the United States nor Germany has seen Russia fulfill these required actions,” the White House statement said.
Obama and Merkel held a first conversation since the spy scandal broke out in Germany. The counterparts had talks amid the reports about Washington pressuring EU into imposing new sanctions against Russia. The United States has considerably smaller trading volumes with Russia than Europe, which allows Obama administration to lobby sanctions against the key sectors of Russian economy, while some EU member states that have close trading ties with Russia oppose the measures.
The United States and European Union are accusing Moscow in interfering with Ukraine’s internal affairs. Russian Foreign Ministry had repeatedly called these allegations unacceptable. Western sanctions had already imposed targeted sanctions against a number of Russian officials and companies. Washington continues to strive for additional measures to introduced by European countries.