the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Readout of the President’s Call with Chancellor Merkel of Germany

The President spoke today with Chancellor Merkel of Germany to consult about the situation in eastern Ukraine.  The leaders expressed their support for diplomatic efforts to pursue a sustainable ceasefire that would be respected by the separatists and fully supported by Russia.  They stressed that Russia must take immediate steps to de-escalate the conflict in eastern Ukraine.  The President and the Chancellor agreed that the United States and Europe should take further coordinated measures to impose costs on Russia if it does not take steps toward de-escalation in short order.  The President and Chancellor also discussed the ongoing P5+1 negotiations with Iran and the need for Iran to take advantage of this opportunity to demonstrate that their nuclear program is peaceful.