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 German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the situation in Ukraine, the ongoing P5+1 talks with Iran in Vienna, and U.S.-German bilateral relations.

On Ukraine, the President and the Chancellor reiterated their agreement that Russia must take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine amid the ongoing violence there – including by supporting a bilateral ceasefire, a roadmap for talks under the OSCE-mediated contact group, and the establishment of an OSCE border monitoring mechanism, as well as by urging the separatists to release all hostages they hold and ending the flow of heavy weapons, equipment, and fighters from Russia to separatists.  The leaders agreed that to date neither the United States nor Germany has seen Russia fulfill these required actions.  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.

On P5+1 talks with Iran, the two leaders reviewed the progress that has been made in the negotiations, while noting that important gaps still remain.  They agreed it is imperative that Iran take the necessary steps to assure the international community that its nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful.

The President and the Chancellor also exchanged views on U.S.-German intelligence cooperation, and the President said he’d remain in close communication on ways to improve cooperation going forward.