Obama phones allies amid Ukraine unrest
By Michael Hernandez, Friday, April 25, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. President Barack Obama phoned his western allies Friday, warning that Washington is prepared to impose targeted sanctions on Russia as heightened tensions persist along Ukraine’s border with Russia.
Russia launched new military exercises on its border with Ukraine Thursday, shortly after the Ukrainian government attempted to retake a pro-Russian checkpoint outside the separatist stronghold of Slavyansk. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said that five pro-Russian “militants” were killed and one Ukraine government officer was injured during the confrontation.
Eastern Ukraine continues to be wracked by unrest as pro-Russian demonstrators, some armed, occupy government buildings and checkpoints despite an accord brokered last week between Ukraine, the U.S., the EU and Russia. The deal called for the demonstrators to disarm and abandon occupied buildings in exchange for amnesty.
During Obama’s multilateral call with French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Premier Matteo Renzi and British Prime Minister David Cameron, the leaders lauded Kiev’s efforts to fulfill its obligations under the accord, but added that the Kremlin has yet to fulfill its own.
Obama stated that Washington is prepared to impose targeted sanctions on Moscow’s already hobbled economy in response to “Russia’s latest actions.” The leaders agreed to closely coordinate together and through the G7 and EU on additional steps to impose costs on Russia.
Still, they emphasized that Russia could choose to pursue a peaceful resolution to the ongoing strife.
Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency