“We agree on the need to maintain strong sanctions against Russia until it ends its aggression in Ukraine and on the need to support Ukraine as it implements important economic and democratic reforms,” Obama said.
Relations between Russia and the West have deteriorated following Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March 2014 and the escalation of an armed conflict in Ukraine’s southeast.
The United States, the European Union and their allies have imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia over its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. Moscow has repeatedly denied those allegations. The sanctions target several individuals, accused of escalating the crisis, as well as Russia’s banking, energy and defense sectors.