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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 with Chancellor Merkel today about Ukraine.  The President welcomed the conclusions of the March 6 European Council and the unified position of the United States and the European Union regarding Ukraine.  The leaders agreed on the need for Russia to pull back its forces, allow for the deployment of international observers and human rights monitors to Crimea, and support free and fair presidential elections in May.  They discussed the need for Russia to agree quickly on the formation of a contact group that will lead to direct dialogue between Ukraine and Russia to de-escalate the situation and restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity.  The leaders reiterated their grave concern over Russia’s clear violation of international law through its military intervention in Ukraine.