Obama, Merkel call on pro-Russia forces to stand down in Ukraine

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Barack Obama on Friday called on Russia to influence pro-Russian military groups in Ukraine to stand down and said it was disgraceful that the militias were holding international observers.

Mr Obama, speaking at the White House with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said they were united in their desire to impose costs on Russia for its actions in Ukraine.

He said Russia must work to secure the immediate release of the observers.