Obama and Merkel had a telephonic conversation to consult about the situation in eastern Ukraine.
"The leaders expressed their support for diplomatic efforts to pursue a sustainable ceasefire that would be respected by the separatists and fully supported by Russia," the White House said yesterday.
"They stressed that Russia must take immediate steps to de-escalate the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The President and the Chancellor agreed that the United States and Europe should take further coordinated measures to impose costs on Russia if it does not take steps toward de-escalation in short order.
"The President and Chancellor also discussed the ongoing P5+1 negotiations with Iran and the need for Iran to take advantage of this opportunity to demonstrate that their nuclear program is peaceful," the telephonic conversation between two leaders said.
Earlier in the day Vice President Joe Biden spoke with the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to discuss the latest situation in eastern Ukraine and diplomatic efforts to pursue a sustainable ceasefire that would be respected by the separatists and fully supported by Russia and would allow for the implementation of the peace plan laid out in Poroshenko's inaugural address.
"The Vice President underscored that the United States remained focused on Russia's actions, not its words.
The Vice President noted the United States is prepared to impose further costs on Russia if it fails to withdraw its ongoing support for the separatists, including the provision of heavy weapons and materiel across the border," the White House said.