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Merkel and Obama: 'our aim is not to punish Russia'

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Merkel and Obama: 'our aim is not to punish Russia'


German Chancellor Angela Merkel and American President Barack Obama held a joint press conference in Washington on Friday, following bilateral talks earlier in the day.

The escalating situation in Ukraine was the main point on the agenda.

Both leaders spoke of the need for a diplomatic resolution to the situation, saying they would take additional steps including imposing a broader base sectoral sanctions scheme on Russia, if it continues to “destabilise Ukraine.”

They were keen to emphasise their goal was not to punish Russia, but to give President Putin an incentive to make “the right choices” concerning Ukraine.

Other topics discussed included the importance of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

It was Merkel’s first visit to the White House since it emerged her mobile phone may have been monitored for years by the US.

The so-called spying scandal was another focal point of the conference, with both sides agreeing to work closely together on a cyber intelligence operation – despite occasional disagreements.

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