US President Barack Obama and other top leaders continued to mobilise international support to isolate Russia for its action against Ukraine and for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
Obama called Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev and the Spanish President Mariano Rajoy. In less than a fortnight, after the breakout of the Ukrainian crisis, Obama has spent several hours over phone, reaching out to the world leaders including those from Britain, Germany, Poland, France, Canada, Italy, Japan and China.
He has had long telephonic conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. US Vice President Joe Biden, who spoke with the Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to discuss issues of regional concern, including the situation in Ukraine, has played an active role in the America’s global outreach on this issue. Biden has spoken several times with the Ukrainian leadership and those of Russia.
Secretary of State John Kerry has been active in rallying world support on Ukraine. He has been holding series of meetings with his Russian counterpart and spending hours over the phone to convince the international community that the Russian military action in Ukraine is unjustified. Kerry among others has called UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Britain, Poland, European Union, Canada and Japan.
In his conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Kerry made clear that the US wants to see a cessation of Russian military advances in Ukraine, including Crimean Peninsula, a halt in the drive for annexation of Crimea, and the end of provocative steps to provide space for diplomacy.
“The United States needs to see concrete evidence that Russia is prepared to engage on the diplomatic proposals we have made to facilitate direct dialogue between Ukraine and Russia and to use international mechanisms like a contact group to de-escalate the conflict,” State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said.
“We are still awaiting a Russian response to the concrete questions that Secretary Kerry sent Foreign Minister Lavrov on Saturday in this regard,” she said. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that the conversations Obama has been having with leaders across the world have focused not just on the referendum but on the broader effort to be united in calling for de-escalation and for a peaceful resolution to this crisis.
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