Obama, Merkel Vow to Push for Diplomatic Solution to Ukraine Conflict

World | February 9, 2015, Monday // 21:42
Bulgaria: Obama, Merkel Vow to Push for Diplomatic Solution to Ukraine Conflict US President Barack Obama (R) listens to German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) speaking during a joint news conference at the East Room of the White House in Washington DC, USA, 9 February 2015. Photo EPA/BGNES

The United States and its European allies remain committed to finding a diplomatic solution to tensions with Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, US President Barack Obama said on Monday.

“Even as we continue to work for a diplomatic solution we are making it clear again today that if Russia continues on its current course, which is ruining the Russia economy and hurting the Russian people, as well as having such a terrible effect on Ukraine, Russia's isolation will only worsen both politically and economically,” Obama said following a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House.

Obama also said he has not yet decided whether his administration will provide arms to the Ukrainian military but warned the US and its allies cannot allow Moscow to redraw the borders in Europe "at the barrel of a gun."

Angela Merkel, speaking at a joint news conference with Obama, said that while there have been setbacks in efforts to find a diplomatic solution with Russia over Ukraine, she has always insisted she doesn’t see a military solution to the conflict.

"But if, at a certain point in time, one has to say that a success is not possible, even if one puts every effort into it, then the United States and Europe have to sit together and try and explore further possibilities, what one can do," Merkel said.

The US has so far limited its military assistance to Ukraine’s military to non-lethal hardware, including gas masks and radar technology to detect incoming fire. If Obama approves lethal aid, the US could send Ukraine government forces anti-tank missiles and armoured vehicles.

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Tags: Obama, Merkel, Ukraine, Russia, NATO, US, Germany
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