Obama talks to leaders of Russia, Ukraine ahead of talks



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama spoke Tuesday with the leaders of both Russia and Ukraine, one day before they meet for talks aimed at reaching an elusive peace deal.

The White House said Obama reiterated U.S. support for Ukraine's sovereignty in his call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and emphasized the importance of reaching a diplomatic resolution.

"However, if Russia continues its aggressive actions in Ukraine, including by sending troops, weapons, and financing to support the separatists, the costs for Russia will rise," the White House said in a statement.

Obama also discussed Wednesday's cease-fire talks in Minsk, Belarus, with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Germany and France are leading the talks aimed at ending the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where violence between government forces and Russian-backed rebels has escalated in recent weeks. The U.S. is not formally part of the discussions.

Obama met at the White House Monday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and both leaders rallied around the long-shot diplomatic effort.

The president said that he is also weighing sending defensive lethal aid to bolster the beleaguered Ukrainian military.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast