US talking to European allies for more Russian sanctions

US Vice President Joe Biden has told Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko that the United States was working with European leaders on further sanctions on Russia, over the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine.

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Obama and Merkel urge Russia to de-escalate tensions

In a phone call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US President Barack Obama said that Russia had to take more steps to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine.

Both leaders agreed that Russia should urge rebels to release hostages and end the flow of heavy weapons and fighters across the Russian border.

A sapper holds a land mine in the eastern Ukrainian village of Semenovka. Credit: REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

"The leaders agreed that to date neither the United States nor Germany has seen Russia fulfill these required actions," the White House statement said.

President and the Chancellor also reaffirmed their commitment to work together as well as to continue to support Ukraine’s long-term stability and prosperity, during the call.

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