US, EU leaders discuss potential action against Russia over Ukraine

Updated: 2014-12-02 11:04


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US, EU leaders discuss potential action against Russia over Ukraine

Former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk speaks during a ceremony with outgoing European Council President, Herman Van Rompuy (not in picture), during which Tusk took over Van Rompuy replacing him as head of the European Council, in Brussels, December 1, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON -- Leaders of the United States and the European Union (EU) discussed potential coordinated action against Russia over its "destabilizing actions" in eastern Ukraine and Crimea, the White House said Monday.

In a telephone conversation, US President Barack Obama and European Council President Donald Tusk agreed that "sanctions against Russia cannot be eased until Russia meets its commitments under the Minsk agreements," the White House said in a statement.

The leaders reiterated the joint US and EU condemnation of Russia's "occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea," said the statement.

Calling Tusk to congratulate him on his first day as president of the European Council, Obama underscored the importance of the continued US-EU cooperation and the need for policy action to strengthen European economic growth.

The two leaders expressed their determination to "achieve an ambitious and comprehensive" trade agreement known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, according to the statement.

Obama and Tusk also discussed combined efforts to support governments in Western Africa in arresting the spread of Ebola, provide treatment to those infected, and cooperate on global health security, the statement added.