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White House: Obama-Merkel meeting to focus on Ukraine crisis

May 02, 2014, 8:44 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
White House spokesman said the United States will continue working jointly with Germany and other European Union members to develop a common approach to sanctions against Russia
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© EPA/MICHAEL KAPPELER

WASHINGTON, May 02. /ITAR-TASS/. The situation in Ukraine will dominate the agenda of talks that will be held on Friday by US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, White House spokesman Jay Carney confirmed Thursday.

“There’s no question that the situation in Ukraine... will be a focus of the conversation,” Carney told journalists. He accused Moscow of what he called "the continued failure by Russia to abide by its commitments in the Geneva agreement".

Carney said the United States will continue working jointly with Germany and other European Union members to develop a common approach to sanctions against Russia.

The Geneva Statement was adopted after the April 17 meeting on Ukraine that involved Russia, the United States, the EU and Ukraine.

Some Russian and Crimean officials and companies have been subjected to sanctions by Western nations after Crimea’s incorporation by Russia, which the West and the de facto Kiev authorities refuse to recognize legal despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession was in line with the international law.

Russia has dismissed the threats of further sanctions against it saying such a language is counterproductive and will have a boomerang effect on Western nations.

Ukraine saw a coup in February after months of anti-government protests. New people were propelled to power amid riots as President Viktor Yanukovich had to leave Ukraine citing security concerns. Russia does not recognize the de facto Ukrainian authorities.

Crimea, where most residents are Russians, held a referendum March 16 in which it overwhelmingly voted to secede from Ukraine and reunify with Russia. The accession deal with Moscow was signed March 18.

After Crimea’s accession to Russia, protests against the new Ukrainian authorities in Kiev erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern regions, with demonstrators demanding referendums on the country’s federalization and taking control of some government buildings.

Kiev has been conducting an antiterrorism operation in eastern Ukraine apparently aimed to clamp down on federalization supporters. Russia has condemned the operation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday dismissed Western claims that Russia could be involved in pro-federalization protests in southeastern Ukraine.

“People say our special forces are present there [in Ukraine], say we have sent instructors there. Let me say in all responsibility that there are no Russian instructors, special forces or troops of any kind there. We have no one there,” Putin said.

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