Readout of the President’s Call with Chancellor Merkel of Germany
President Obama spoke this morning with Chancellor Merkel regarding Russia’s violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity. The leaders condemned Russia’s moves to formally annex Crimea, which is a violation of international law, and noted there would be costs. They agreed it was vital to send international monitors from the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe and the United Nations to southern and eastern Ukraine immediately. Both leaders agreed to continue to underscore to Russian President Putin that there remains a clear path for resolving this crisis diplomatically, in a way that addresses the interests of both Russia and the people of Ukraine. Finally, the leaders discussed ways to support Ukraine as it works to stabilize its economy and prepare for elections in May. They noted the importance of bilateral as well as multilateral support for Ukraine, including through the International Monetary Fund and the European Union. The two leaders agreed to continue to coordinate closely on the situation in Ukraine in the days to come, including at the G-7 meeting in the Hague.