Readout of the President’s Call with Chancellor Merkel of Germany
The President spoke today with Chancellor Merkel of Germany regarding the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, which has continued to deteriorate since the tragic downing of the Malaysian airliner last month. The two leaders agreed that Russia sending a convoy into Ukraine without Ukraine’s approval is a further provocation and a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. They expressed concern that the large numbers of Russian troops on the border of Ukraine, the presence of Russian military personnel in Ukraine, and Russian shelling of Ukrainian territory represent a dangerous escalation. They agreed that it is imperative that Russia remove its convoy from Ukrainian territory, accept the conditions previously agreed to with Ukraine and the International Red Cross for any humanitarian convoys in Ukraine, and de-escalates the situation by removing its military forces from the border region, withdrawing its weapons, vehicles and personnel from the territory of Ukraine, and stopping the flow of Russian personnel, military equipment and armored vehicles into eastern Ukraine. They also stressed the importance of a bilateral ceasefire accompanied by closure of the border and effective border monitoring.