Obama phones allies amid Ukraine deal

Phone calls include German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Premier David Cameron

Phone calls include German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Premier David Cameron

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. President Barack Obama spoke by phone with allies German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron Thursday as four-way meetings in Geneva reached a potentially critical accord in Ukraine’s crisis.

Representatives from Ukraine, the U.S., the European Union and Russia reached an agreement after seven hours of talks in Geneva on Thursday.  The agreement calls for armed groups in Ukraine to lay down their arms and relinquish control of occupied government buildings. 

While speaking with the British prime minister, Obama lauded Kiev’s approach to the talks “where it put forward constructive proposals to expand local governance and ensure the rights of all Ukrainians are protected,” according to the White House.

During his call with Merkel, both leaders emphasized that Russia must take action to diffuse tensions in eastern Ukraine through “its influence over the irregular forces” in the region. Those forces should disarm and vacate occupied government buildings, according to the White House. 

Thursday’s Geneva deal forestalled further economic sanctions on Russia’s already hobbled economy. 

Western leaders stressed during Thursday’s calls, that they are prepared to impose additional costs on Russia if de-escalation does not occur.

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