German Chancellor Merkel arrives at White House
Published on May 2, 2014 10:47 PM
WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Barack Obama welcomed Germany's Angela Merkel to the White House on Friday, seeking to secure united European backing for tougher sanctions on Russia's economy should the Kremlin escalate the crisis in Ukraine.
The president and the Chancellor met days after both the United States and the European Union imposed new sanctions on key political and business figures around President Vladimir Putin.
The measures followed the failure of a deal brokered in Geneva to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine and the refusal of Russia to rein in pro-Moscow separatist groups in southeastern Ukraine.
So far, the sanctions adopted by either side have been limited to personal visa and asset bans against prominent people in Putin's inner circle, branded "cronies" by the White House.
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