President Barack Obama warned Russia on Wednesday the West would be forced to apply a cost to Moscow if it fails to change course in its dispute with Ukraine.
Obama met new Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk in the Oval Office to discuss how to force Russia to loosen its military grip on Ukraine’s southern Crimea region.
Yatseniuk said his government was eager and willing to have talks with Russia about Ukraine, but made clear that Ukraine, “is and will be a part of the Western world.”
“We fight for our freedom, we fight for our independence, we fight for our sovereignty, and we will never surrender,” he vowed.
Meanwhile German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said EU leaders are keen to sign an association agreement with Ukraine.
Merkle said Europe will impose tougher sanctions on Russia next week if there is no sign in the next few days that Moscow is willing to seek a diplomatic solution for Ukraine.