Obama, EU leaders raise threat of new sanctions on Russia

25th April 2014, Comments 0 comments

US President Barack Obama and top European leaders urged Moscow to stop its "intimidation" of Ukraine and raised the prospect of fresh sanctions, France said on Friday.

"The heads of state and government have called for a rapid reaction by the G7 and raised the prospect of new sanctions by the international community against Russia," the French presidency said in a statement.

Obama, along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi also said it was "essential" for Ukraine's presidential election to go ahead as planned on May 25.

"They have reiterated their demand that the democratic process is able to move forward," the statement said.

"The holding of the presidential election on May 25 is essential to allow Ukrainians to freely decide their future in full transparency.

"Russia, conforming to the commitments made at Geneva, should contribute to the de-escalation, abstaining from provocative statements or acts of intimidation," the leaders added, referring to the now shaky-looking peace deal struck between Russia, Ukraine and the West last week.

"The territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine must be clearly respected," the statement added.

© 2014 AFP

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