Readout of the President’s Calls with Chancellor Merkel of Germany and President Hollande of France
The President spoke separately today with Chancellor Merkel of Germany and President Hollande of France to consult about the crisis in Ukraine. The leaders welcomed President Poroshenko’s announcement of a unilateral ceasefire and reemphasized the need for Russia to pull back its destabilizing presence of military forces on the border of Ukraine, stop the flow of weapons and militants across the border, and exercise its influence among armed separatists to lay down their weapons and renounce violence. They agreed that should Russia fail to take immediate, concrete steps to deescalate the situation in eastern Ukraine, the United States and the European Union would coordinate additional steps to impose costs on Russia. The leaders also expressed concern about the situation in Iraq and the threat posed by ISIL.