09:36 Apr. 25, 2016
Obama to talk Ukraine with E.U. leaders at the April 25 summit
U.S. President Barack Obama says he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agree that Ukraine-related sanctions targeting Russia should only be lifted if Moscow complies with a deal to end fighting between Kyiv's forces and Russia-backed separatists.
"Sanctions on Russia can and should only be lifted once Russia fully complies with its commitments under the Minsk [peace] agreement," Obama told an April 24 news conference in Hanover after meeting with Merkel during the last leg of a six-day foreign trip to shore up U.S. alliances.
Merkel said that the ceasefire was not stable and that she and Obama had discussed implementation of the February 2015 peace deal brokered in Minsk to end to the conflict in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 9,100 since April 2014.
"Unfortunately, we do not have any stable ceasefire yet and we must make progress in the political process," Merkel said, adding that she and Obama "discussed very detailed steps to be taken next in this regard."
The Kremlin has repeatedly blamed Kyiv for failing to implement the Minsk agreement. Full story