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Obama presses Putin on Ukraine, warns of further costs

June 24, 2014 07:57 IST

United States President Barack Obama has called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to support peace and help de-escalate tension in Ukraine. “The (US) President spoke to President Putin and once again urged him to support peace instead of allowing the provision of arms and materiel across the border and continuing support for militants and separatists who are further destabilising the situation in Ukraine,” said Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

“Though we believe a diplomatic solution is still possible, Russia will face additional costs if we do not see concrete actions to de-escalate the situation,” he said.

Both the state heads had the opportunity to visit a little bit when they were in Normandy recently, and they’ve had a number of phone conversations leading up to that trip to talk about trying to bring stability to the situation in Ukraine, he noted.

“And again, the President reiterated that we would like to see Russia, and President Putin personally, use his influence to try to promote greater peace and stability in eastern Ukraine,” he said, adding that the US will support the Ukrainian President in his efforts to seek a peaceful resolution to the ongoing crisis.

“He has offered to grant amnesty to separatists within Ukraine and to provide safe passage back to Russia to Russian militants in eastern Ukraine. It’s clear that President

(Petro) Poroshenko’s willing to go the extra mile here to try to resolve the situation and to restore some peace and security to the entire country that he governs. What we need is some cooperation with President Putin and the Russians to make that a reality,” Earnest added.

According to White House readout of the telephonic conversation, Obama called upon Putin to put pressure on the separatists to abide by the ceasefire and to cut the flow of weapons and materiel across Russia’s border into Ukraine. Obama emphasised that words must be complemented by actions and that the United States is ready to impose further sanctions depending upon circumstances and decision will be taken in coordination with its allies and partners.

Lalit K Jha
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