Obama told Putin he must de-escalate Ukraine tensions: US official

Obama said that de-escalation depends upon Russia recognising President Poroshenko as the legitimate leader of Ukraine

Afp June 06, 2014
US President Barack Obama speaks during the 70th French-American Commemoration D-Day Ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy. PHOTO:AFP

OUISTREHAM: President Barack Obama personally told Vladimir Putin Friday he must de-escalate tensions in Ukraine or face deeper international isolation, a US official said.

The warning came as the Russian and US presidents had a 15-minute informal encounter at a lunch for leaders attending D-Day 70th anniversary commemorations in Normandy, France.

"President Obama underscored that the successful Ukrainian election provides an opportunity that should be taken," said Ben Rhodes, a deputy US national security advisor.

"President Obama made clear that de-escalation depends upon Russia recognising President-elect Poroshenko as the legitimate leader of Ukraine, ceasing support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, and stopping the provision of arms and materiel across the border."

Rhodes said Obama noted president-elect Poroshenko's commitment to pursue reforms to ensure that the rights and interests of all Ukrainians are respected, and urged Russia to work immediately with the government in Kiev to reduce tensions."

"President Obama made clear that a failure to take these steps would only deepen Russia's isolation."

The readout offered no details of the atmospherics or the tone of the talks, the first direct encounter between the two leaders since the Ukrainian crisis erupted.

But there was a hint of a carrot for Putin of better relations with Washington if he meets US demands.

"If Russia does take this opportunity to recognise and work with the new government in Kiev, President Obama indicated that there could be openings to reduce tensions," Rhodes said.


Rex Minor | 7 years ago | Reply

Presiden Putin thanked Obama for giving five billion dollars to Kieve, enabling Russia to take back its crimea into motherland.

Rex Minor

John B | 7 years ago | Reply

The US is misjudging the events in Ukraine and this could be one of biggest blunder of Obama administration.

Russia has no interest in Ukraine politics except for the troubled spot, which historically belonged to Russia and was given to Ukraine during the Soviet Union era. The politics is more to do with the port than the Ukraine Itself, the age old problem of Europe.

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