US President Barack Obama has called for effective international monitoring of the ceasefire in Ukraine.
During a visit by EU Council President Donald Tusk to the White House, both men stressed a tough response to Russia was needed over its role in the crisis.
“We very much appreciate the work that has been done by Chancellor Angela Merkel and President François Hollande to establish a Minsk process, but we also know from experiences over the last year that unless we have strong monitoring and strong implementation that these agreements will be meaningless,” Obama told reporters.
“Our enemies who use propaganda against us commit acts of violence and violate the sovereignty of our neighbours,” Tusk said.
“And this is why, I think, united we stand, divided we fall. I’m convinced it’s true.”
With tension between the West and Russia at a post Cold War high, Obama is seeking support from his European allies to maintain pressure on the Kremlin.
Our correspondent in Washington, Stefan Grobe, said:
“President Tusk was much more outspoken in his criticism of Moscow than President Obama, speaking of a Russian aggression against its neighbours that needs to be stopped. Washington has not yet committed to new sanctions, but that may well be in the works.”