Today the President spoke with President Hollande of France, Chancellor Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Renzi of Italy, and Prime Minister Cameron of the UK to consult about the alarming situation in eastern Ukraine. The leaders noted the positive steps that Ukraine had taken to move forward on the actions to which it committed in the April 17 joint statement by Ukraine, Russia, the European Union, and the United States – including proposing an amnesty law for those who will peacefully leave the buildings they have seized in eastern Ukraine, supporting the work of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and committing themselves once again to a process of constitutional reform and decentralization. The leaders also agreed that Russia had not reciprocated – including by not publicly supporting the Geneva accord, nor calling on armed militant groups to lay down their arms and leave the government buildings they’ve occupied – and had in fact continued to escalate the situation through its increasingly concerning rhetoric and threatening military exercises on Ukraine’s border.
The President noted that the United States is prepared to impose targeted sanctions to respond to Russia's latest actions. The leaders agreed to work closely together, and through the G7 and European Union, to coordinate additional steps to impose costs on Russia. The leaders underscored that Russia could still choose a peaceful resolution to the crisis, including by implementing the Geneva accord.