President Obama, Angela Merkel Hold News Conference

The two world leaders discussed possible sanctions and displayed unity against Russia.
45:03 | 05/02/14

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Transcript for President Obama, Angela Merkel Hold News Conference
This is a special group. The president and chancellor. Well in a joint news conference in the White House rose garden and just short time we will take you there when an event that start -- first I want to bring it from our Washington bureau ABC's White House correspondent Jim model joining us now. Jim it tee this up force the the the the simmering crisis in eastern Ukraine has really. -- to boil over Ukrainian soldiers moving in today against pro Russian forces. It did not go well -- for Ukraine to its helicopters were shot down two crewmen were dead there that obviously only must increase the rhetoric between these two world leaders would not. -- that is going to be a topic of conversation today they -- of course and a closed door meeting now talking with each other and having lunch. And then they'll come out to the Rose Garden for this joint press conference -- this meeting was scheduled a long time ago before -- the crisis in Ukraine began. But certainly it is now dominating. The conversation between the two countries in fact for a little while everybody thought that this. This meeting between the two leaders of Germany and the United States would be about to -- would be about spying. That's about. President Obama is NSA. Listening to. The -- chancellor Merkel spoke cell phone calls but that is likely to. But not even been brought up because the Russian current crisis has become so serious and especially with -- to -- you talk about today happening today over in Ukraine. Where the ukrainians attempted to take back some of the put the city's in the east and were pushed back in fact their helicopter shot down. In the United States saying condemning that action saying that shows that that is not. That that -- that those areas are not being controlled. And by ukrainians. And by civilian people but in fact are being controlled by Russians or Russian sponsored. People with some pretty heavy weapons including surface to air missiles -- -- bring down. Helicopters -- Jim talks a little bit about the significance that and Germany plays in the relationship between Russia and Ukraine. Because obviously in Germany is is Russia's largest trading partner in the European Union so I would imagine that that -- a great deal of sway in. Having any kind of negotiation take place yes and chancellor Merkel is -- -- in fact -- that a primary conduit of western information to. To the Russian president potent as she speaks Russian he speaks German we're told that. That during the conversations. Between the two which are nearly daily. That Putin talks to her. In German because he has a former KGB. And official who was based in Dresden east Germany during the Cold War. He learned German quite well and speaks to her and her native language she grew up. In the east German side of Germany and -- Russian because of that so they -- they have communicate well together we're told they actually communicate well. She has a bit of a problem in Germany. As far as. Because as you say they're such a large trade. Agreement going between the two countries of Russia and Germany. That many of the leaders. A money of the business leaders wanted to go slow him and -- are cautious about any kind of sanctions in about. The punishing Russia for their actions in Ukraine. Come Merkel has has pressed the study German economic leaders and in fact has gone along and assured. The United States that and that the European Union which -- of course Germany is a huge leader in will push. For the include -- sanctions and in this past -- Monday. They join the United States. In issuing new sanctions on -- so they are in a very important country. In this entire strategy that President Obama has and that's what they're expected to talk about today in the Rose Garden. And and can actually confirm that there is unity between the United States Germany and the EU. Where we -- going through the European debt crisis in Greece has really taken center stage and a lot of the headlines Germany was being looked that. As having is hopefully having Mormon influence and taking more action to try to. Avert that crisis from spiraling and and spreading out throughout the entire European Union. Is that's and that's -- -- be discussed as well between the White House and Germany as far as the kind of economics way given that kind of prominence that was placed earlier on. Possibly Germany as the powerhouse of the EU they're the ones who can still pay the bills they're not to anywhere near. The bankruptcy that some of the other European countries have gone through including Greece during the Greek. -- crisis of course. It was Germany which had to put up lots of funds. -- guarantee loans those type of things because it has an economy that is quite strong and continues to continues to work. But they also are quite vulnerable. When it comes to Russia. Because as you point out there -- big trade partner with -- they depend upon Russia for many of their energy needs. So there are problems. For Germany and they do have to be careful. About what they -- -- to Russia they would prefer to continue engagement they prefer to continue some diplomatic solution and not have their. Be more sanctions and more animosity. They're very close of his they're very close to each other. In and it and his interest in that. That that this kind of dual role in Germany serves you know when. Would -- -- denounces was going on in Ukraine he calls the the -- government Nazis. But at the same time he talks to Germany where of course Nazis -- well originated. And talks to -- Germany every day and recognizes them as a legitimate trading partner in a very valuable partner so it's an interesting relationship. Yet. Reminded a bit of George Orwell from this statement from Vladimir Putin -- and Ukraine's efforts have quote effectively destroyed. Any chances of implementing that recent Geneva accord that was -- to defuse the crisis there Russia has also called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. That is set to begin shortly that the president obviously dealing with this on on many fronts not only from responses and reactions to Germany. Our she's me to Russia but also to what Germany's role might be in this yes he has he's you know he's trying to. That that the reaction to what's going on Ukraine from United States has been first of all. No military action -- -- nuclear reaction for the White House has been. There are no guns we can give Ukraine no weapons -- give the Ukraine that would make them equal to Russia so there's no reason to do that if if it's a fight. Ukraine's gonna lose so the only way to do this according to the president the administration. It is to use sanctions to use political pressure to ostracize to isolate Russia. That of course pokes the bear the same time put reacts to that. And and his reaction. We're seeing today sometimes it's quite illogical. But we're seeing it we're seeing him say that it's -- Ukraine's fault. That because they're trying to control what's going on in its own in their own country. In the eastern portion of the country. That that that that is somehow an aggressive. An aggressive action that needs to be taken up at the UN and so that's why they've called this National Security Council meeting. To complain about what Ukraine did today in trying to regain some of its own territory. In in its -- inside its own borders. Can now you see the picture there of the meeting that's going to be happening almost simultaneously. To this press conference in the Rose Garden -- the chancellor of Germany and the president of the United States. The president's role that has been to try to. Soon and has been -- has been to try to gather everybody together. And as a coalition in the in Europe two. I'm watching the Rose Garden here as we see this is this will be. The president's notes coming to the table which tells us it's getting closer. -- for the for the two leaders to come out. But with the president's been trying to do is is keep the coalition together the European Union because the European union of course is much closer to Russia than we are. And it depends upon energy depends upon economic strength from Russia and trade from Russia so. He's trying to keep them together and on the same team right. It did the effectiveness of those sanctions that are taking place right now as far as the kind of impact has been making in Moscow that certainly can be debated but no doubt as you pointed out. That relationship that Russia has with Germany as far as an economic ties -- that still has to have some kind of an impact though. To the German people when the US imposes those kinds of restrictions -- not. Well the sanctions that have been that happens. Far been targeted sanctions toward cronies of battle Vladimir Putin's. That the -- -- to them individually as far as travel restrictions and also to their company's seventeen companies Russian companies with close ties. To the to the Russian president. So that has been targeted try to put some pain on -- personally and on his best friends people -- marquee that runs Russia. You know that's a very tight knit group in Russia that runs the economy it's not as broad base as other countries. These are his friends who really run the country all the oil companies are all. Donors and friends of that a Republican -- the the effort here is to cause them pain. Has it hurt the country of Russia so far no probably not. The next level -- in which it which she appears to be the trigger would be. If Russia would in fact invade. The Ukrainian anyway. Then it then we would see even more. Strict -- watching at the podium here as we see who's coming in these are more. Aides. For both United States and -- in Germany. We should see sort -- the president and the -- coming out. But the next round of sanctions. Which would happen we believe only if there was an invasion across the border of Russian troops. Would be severe sanctions. Against the economy. Against well against the oil industry in Russia meaning that and the natural gas industry. Likely to prohibit any kind of a trade between Russia and the Europe and the rest of the world. On natural gas and oil which of course of the main. Money flows before -- that's the serious and those of the serious sanctions. Those are being held in -- in -- those of the those of the the big stick -- the president says he has because he's not gonna send in the military -- has is this. That he's holding. -- -- trying to keep cooking from actually invading. And if you listen to the White House they believe it's -- that their strategy is working he hasn't invaded eastern Ukraine. -- -- his troops are at the border but they haven't gone in and in the United States believes it's because -- understand the seriousness. Of that happening and what would happen in return. The judges as were -- for the year for the president and for the chance to make their way -- the -- there. What has -- the relationships though in its most recent weeks between. That is the chancellor the president. Understandably that this meeting the program began it has been previously scheduled. But as you pointed out though. When there had been revelation is that the NSA had been tapping into on the -- found that was certainly one of the main topics that was going to be discussed now. But what is the relationship has -- -- phone calls back and forth between the president and the chancellor. Yes there there. In contact frequently several times a week they -- each -- conversations with Vladimir -- to each other and here they come out now. President to the United States. And the chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. Well good morning everybody. It is always a great pleasure to welcome my friend chancellor Merkel to the White House. Germany. Is one of our strongest allies and -- as one of my closest partners and with her indulgence I want to start by. Making too brief comments. First as president. My top priority is doing everything that we -- to create more jobs and opportunity for hardworking families. For our economic strength as a source of strength in the world and this morning we learned that our businesses created. 273000. New jobs last month. All hold our businesses -- now created nine point two million new jobs over fifty consecutive months of job growth. The grit and determination the American people are moving us forward but we have to keep a relentless focus on. Job creation and creating more opportunities for working families. There's plenty more that congress should be -- from raising the minimum wage to creating good construction jobs rebuilding America. And I want to work. With them wherever I can but I. Keep acting on my own wherever I must to make sure every American who works art has the chance to get ahead. Second point I also wanna say -- on -- the American people that our thoughts are with the people of Afghanistan who. Have experienced an awful tragedy we are seeing reports of a devastating landslide on top of recent floods. Many people are reported missing. Rescue efforts are under way. Just as the United States -- stood with the people of Afghanistan through a difficult decade we stand ready to help our Afghan partners. As they respond to this disaster. Four even as our war there comes to an end this year our commitment to Afghanistan and its people -- door. Not -- I'm still. Grateful for the hospitality that you and the German people extend it to me Michelle and our daughters last year in Berlin. It was an honor to speak at the Brandenburg Gate. You promised me a warm welcome and delivered an unbelievable ninety degree day in Berlin. This morning. -- -- touched on a range of issues -- the United States and Germany are vital partners. We agreed to continue -- close security cooperation. Including law enforcement cyber and intelligence that keeps our citizens safe. We reaffirmed our strong commitment to completing that trans Atlantic trade and investment partnership she took. Which is critical to supporting jobs and boosting exports. In both the United States and in Europe. We discussed energy security including the importance of Europe diversifying its energy sources. The United States is -- -- licenses for natural gas exports which will increase global supply and benefit partners like Europe. Anti -- would make it even easier to get licenses to export gas to Europe -- And are working lunch will review our negotiations with -- -- and our shared determination to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. We'll discuss Syria where we continue to support the moderate opposition. And provide humanitarian relief to the Syrian people. -- look forward to briefing on the on my trip to Asia. A region where both our nations can help ensure that all countries in the Asia Pacific adhere to international law and international norms. Of course most of our time was spent on the situation in Ukraine goal. -- I want to thank you for being such a strong partner on this issue. You've spoken out forcefully against Russia's illegal actions in Ukraine then you've been a leader. In the European Union as walls and indispensable partner in the G-7. In your presence here today as a reminder that our nation stand united. We are united in our determination to impose costs on Russia for its actions including through coordinated sanctions. We're united on our. Unwavering. Article five commitment to the security of our NATO allies including a German bank aircraft joining NATO patrols over the baltics. -- united in our support for Ukraine including the very important IMF program approved this week to help Ukraine stabilize and reform its economy. And as Ukrainian forces moved to restore order in eastern Ukraine. It is obvious to the world that these Russian backed groups are not peaceful protesters. Their heavily armed militants. Who are receiving significant support from -- The Ukrainian government has the right and responsibility to uphold. Law and order within its territory and Russia needs to use its influence over these paramilitary groups. So -- disarm. And stop provoking violence. Let me say there were also united in our outrage over the appalling treatment BO SCE observers who have been detained in eastern Ukraine. Pro Russian militants are still holding seven observers including four Germans. As well as their Ukrainian escorts. -- been paraded in front of the media and forced to make statements. The barrel of a gun. It is disgraceful and it's inexcusable. Russia needs to work to secure their immediate release and the international community is not going to be satisfied until. A colonel Schneider and his fellow captives come home. Finally. As both on -- -- -- repeatedly said we want to -- a diplomatic resolution to the situation in Ukraine. But we've also been clear that if the Russian leadership does not change course -- will face increasing costs. As well as growing isolation. Diplomatic and economic. Already the -- fallen to near all time -- Russian stocks this year drop sharply and Russia slipped into recession. Investors are fleeing and it's estimated that a hundred billion dollars in investment -- exit Russia this year. Russian companies are finding it hard to access the cup capital they need and Russia's credit rating has been downgraded to just above junk status. In short Russia's actions in Ukraine are making an RD week Russian economy even weaker. Moreover if Russia continues on its current course we have a range of tools at our disposal including. Sanctions that would target certain sectors the Russian economy and we've been consulting closely with. Our European G-7 partners. And were stepping up our planning. On the and I continued these consultations today. Russian leadership must know that if it continues to destabilize eastern Ukraine. And disrupt this month's presidential election we will move quickly. On additional steps including further sanctions -- will impose greater costs but that is a choice facing the Russian leadership. Our preference is a diplomatic resolution -- this issue and the Ukrainian government has already shown itself more than willing. To work through. Some of the issues that would ensure that. The rights of all ukrainians are respected the you have a representative government. They've shown themselves willing to discuss amendments to their constitution the devolved powers to a local level. They have gone through with their commitment to potentially provide amnesty for those who lay down arms and -- willing to abandon the -- that they've occupied. The Ukrainian government in -- have. -- follow through on the commitments that it made in Geneva. We -- Russians. To do the -- So -- I want to thank you again for being here and as always for your friendship and partnership. These -- challenging times. Russia's actions in Ukraine pose a direct challenge to the goal that brought Europe and the United States together for decades -- that is a Europe that is whole. Free and at peace and justice is our predecessors stood united pursue that vision. So -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Well thank you very much Barack four then sent gracious hospitality. And this sort of very welcome that you -- to me and I'm very glad. To be. Able to -- back in Washington and a half an opportunity to. Address sort of these different issues with you I think priority reading is on the current issues all -- crane. And -- him very -- and I attend intended how important the transatlantic. Partnership is also. And that today's times and I think it's a very good thing that all of the steps that we've taken so far we've taken to get and today. And -- talk we yet again underlined that we fully intend to go ahead as we did in the past. What happened on Ukraine what happened on the Crimean peninsula well the post war order has been put into question on rests on. I'm the acceptance of territorial integrity of my whole. And this is applying it ones so important. Pressed to react -- -- called. Turned to what is at stake here is -- people in Ukraine. Karen aren't on the basis of self determination and can determine themselves which -- they wish to embark on into the future the 25 and may. It's a -- at crucial -- -- -- to ensure that and we will see to it that elections can take place. The NSC will play a central role in all of this we talked about this. And turned to get at least the and -- see we -- do everything we can -- in order to. Bring Russia that is -- -- a member at the embassy to do the necessary steps and it's the 25 -- may bringing about some progress and stabilizing Ukraine. And the 25 -- -- is not all that foreign relations that not be possible. To stabilize the situation. The the sanctions will be unavoidable this is something that we don't want we have made. The diplomatic offer an offer for the diplomatic solutions and it's very much -- to the Russians which -- -- able embark on but we have family. Resolved to continue to travel down that. Now second faintly interest issues sense have -- bearing on the work of the intelligence services. Here let me underline yet again for the -- side we have always intuitive very close cooperation with American continent on this -- and anyone and political responsibility is more than -- -- and looking at the challenges of the more modern world today. And that of a scene in fighting terrorism the work that the intelligence services is not an important it is indeed indispensable. I'm -- -- parents cooperation in this area as the very helpful one. Yet there are differences of opinion on what sort of balance to strike between. The intensity -- of aliens. All the trying to protect. The citizens against -- and on the other terms. And protecting individual privacy and -- freedom. -- them -- -- response -- and that's. Will be Chernoff the discussion between our two countries in order to become. These differences of opinion we have these discussions incidentally also on the European front we're talking about safe comma -- agreement for example about. A privacy protection agreement and -- take back the message home that the US is ready to do that is tricky to discuss this although we now have differences of opinion -- certain issues. Bradley T tip. I think particularly in the overall context of -- southern intensifying and a trade relations. Who often global growth but also in the context of justification of -- supplying. This is a very important issue it will be very important for us to bring the negotiations. Very quickly. Two and a close. On T tip we have firmly convinced that for the European union for -- -- for the United States this office. A lot of opportunities for the future and it's so important for us to bring this. Agreement to a successful conclusion there -- a number of discussions unknown number of skeptical remarks people have doubts but these -- This skepticism can be overcome and it needs to be -- -- -- just look at the many continents all over the World -- -- bilateral trade agreements I mean it's. It's simply necessary. Is looking at the intensity of the transatlantic partnership and the closeness of partnership professed to have this agreement this transatlantic trade agreement. And we fully. One on this -- So we had very intensive talks and and we -- going to build on this of -- -- thank you very much -- -- for giving me this opportunity and also thank you for your gracious hospitality. I think -- to questions from. The US president -- -- questions from the German press we'll start with the -- -- Clark. And as president. With violence today in Ukraine you've said today that Germany and the United States -- united networks to escalate. But -- and even able to reach any common ground with the chancellor on sectoral sanctions particularly the energy the Russian energy section second. What's next if you're unable to and to chancellor Merkel. Reports in the US press have suggested that you said that you believed president -- may not be in touch with reality. Is that what you said is that what you believe and could you give as you talk to him earlier this week. Could you get -- little more insight into what you might be thinking. And do you believe -- he's a threat to Europe. They obviously every day were watching. The events in eastern Ukraine in southern Ukraine with deep concern. And I think that. What you've seen over the course of the last several months. In the midst of this crisis is remarkable unity between the United States. And the European Union in the response. We have at this. Same time. Offered. A diplomatic approach that could resolve this issue. We have been unified in. Supporting the Ukrainian government in -- have both economically diplomatically politically and we have said that we would. Applied costs and consequences to the Russians if they continued with. Their actions and that's exactly what we've done. And you saw just over the course last week additional sanctions applied both by the Europeans and the US. The next step is going to be a broader base. Sectoral. Sanctions -- And what we have said is is that we wanna continue to keep open the possibility of resolving the issue diplomatically but as -- Angela Merkel said. If in fact received the disruptions and the it impedes. -- elections on May 25 and we will not have a choice but to move forward with additional more severe sanctions. And Republicans consultations have been taking place over the course of the last several weeks about what exactly. Those would look like and would apply to a range of sectors. The goal is not to punish Russia the goal is to give them an incentive to choose the better course and that is to resolve these issues diplomatically. And I think we are united. On that front. Within Europe. Within the EU I'm sure there has to be extensive consultations you've got twenty countries and some are more vulnerable than others to potential Russian retaliation and we have to take those into account. Not every country is going to be in exactly the same place but. What has been remarkable the degree to which. All countries agreed that Russia -- violated international law violated territorial integrity and sovereignty of -- a country in Europe and I think there's unanimity that. There have to be consequences for that how we structure the sectoral sanctions. The experts have been working on. And we anticipate that if we have to use them we can't our preference would be. Not to have to use and -- -- Jeff some locals leadership on this front she has been. Extraordinarily. Helpful not only in. Facilitating European unity but she's also been very important. In. Helping to shape. It possible diplomatic resolution and reaching out. To the Russians to encourage them to take that door while it's still open. Well keep in mind that when it comes to -- sanctions were looking at a whole range of issues. Energy flows from Russia to Europe. Those continued even them in the midst of the Cold War at the height of the cold so the idea that you're gonna turn off the -- On all Russian. Oil or natural gas exports. I think is unrealistic. But. There are a range of you know approaches that can be taken not only in the energy sector but it -- sector of the finance sector. In terms of lines of credit for trade. All of that have a significant impact. On -- I don't think it's appropriate for us to delve into the details at this stage because. Our hope is that we don't have to deport -- but what I can say is that. Our experts at the highest level -- not just bilaterally and multilaterally. Through the European Commission. And our diplomatic teams have been working through. All the possibilities. And we're confident that we will have a package that will further. Impact. Russia's growth. And economy. But again I hope. As is that we shouldn't have to use. We're not interest in punishing the Russian people we do think that mr. Putin and his leadership circle are taking bad decisions and unnecessary decisions and it needs to be dissuaded from his current course. It is I think obvious to all. Very different from assessments on what happens in Ukraine on the one hand. That you have the United States and Europe we've always taken decisions together and on the other hand them. The Russian appreciation and the -- of the situation I -- current. Russia will lift up -- -- in the future to its responsibilities. But we need to seek seats amounts to matching her -- -- we don't have any release of the hostages that the NEC. Among them also for -- such instances that very crucial step that needs here happened fast. We -- we have not yet seen any implementation of the Geneva agreement by the Russian side the Ukrainian side has taken some steps in the right connection. And the NS CE. Two is an organization to which we wish to -- -- of rules so that they can pick -- and pave the way for connections. And at one run on sanctions I agree with the American present at the -- not an end in itself affect combined. -- The off that -- We -- diplomatic solutions. -- is a very necessary seconds component to show -- with serious with serious about a principles. And there is a broad base a broad range of possibilities. That have been up eventful in the European Union in Europe week. -- have taken a decision that shouldn't panic is stabilization happen and we will move to the -- stage sanctions. I would like to undermine this is not necessarily what we want that we don't break. My -- Aim would be fast and farmers to improve. The stabilization and two seater that the elections can and that we will want comments in the next and a few. And I days about we'll also prepared to take further steps. What we're talking about here will be sexual -- In the context of -- branches of industry the American president and I qanooni agreed to this. -- -- says that what is necessary as a consummate the dependency on gas which is very strong in Europe like but can also look ahead in the medium term what we can do in order to promote an anti union and the European Union which -- doing. Am looking at dependency is in the next ten to fifteen years armed Russian gas supplies there -- six countries. That speed and the right now in the EU that depend -- 100% of gas supplies we need to. For improved they -- -- -- -- as we call that we need to improve greater pipelines. Components to countries need to -- supplies. Are embarrassed measures that we currently discussing in Europe. And we talking about short term but also medium term and long -- -- and then the teacher at free trade agreement -- tip as -- gaining more prominence in this respect. But also. Sorry. I'm not himself for use spent some time is. Of the essence and that its potential -- leading up to 25 when would be at the time when you would say Arafat. Phase moving to cut phase of sanctions is what you would promote armed and is a more and -- Intensive initiative by the EU necessary for example I'm on the heads of state government -- aren't president. Can -- under Stearns and the fact that also missed the to a team needs to play a role in association which is the position of the European Union. But also and his arguments have to be weighed and up to the terms for. I'm having made this several phone calls with -- -- -- do you think that and the council suspense that turns to and sort of -- On this. Well answer the question what about the next few days to come. I think the -- Meeting of foreign ministers of the EU -- the -- -- -- going to play a very important role in this respect them and Kent. Sound out what possibilities there in various directions -- from the chairman. Science. As we have agreed with American friends. Will to everything we can in order to. Bring the a CD into a situation. -- supported politically that is too. Do what is necessary in order to bring matters forward to and you -- on the one hand you have Tennessee. Monitors for the elections but also questions as -- a change of the constitution. Reform reports -- for the W soon decentralization. All of -- defend. Country parts of the country obviously have to be at the same level as account information on this and the -- CD wants to do that we want to give them the necessary political backing one. A certain point in time. Is that it's very difficult to predict I can -- say that to meet the elections on the 25 of may crucial. And should that be found in attempts at. More much different -- but for now I'm -- -- for. Elections take place on that very date and the heads of state and government Beatty at any time should that been proved necessary to meet. We've proof that the currents. In other areas for example the Euro crisis. And we will demonstrate this resolved yet again I am firmly convinced. And that the United States of America and the European Union need to act in concert here and they have done so in the possibly then to continue to do so. -- sent from the start that. Russia has legitimate interests. In terms of what happens next door. In Ukraine. Obviously there's deep and complicated history between Russia and Ukraine. And so of course. Mr. Putin's views should be taken into account. What can't be taken into account is mr. Putin's. Suggestion. Both through words and actions. That he has the right violate the sovereignty of another country. To violate its territorial integrity. To dictate. The economic policies or foreign policy of a sovereign country. That's not acceptable. Are doomed from the start has been that the ukrainians should be able to make their own decisions. And I'm. Very confident that -- ukrainians allowed to make their own decisions. -- they will choose to have a good relationship with Russia as -- as -- good relationship with -- That -- want to trade with Russia and don't want a trade with your. But what they cannot. Accept understandably -- the notion that they are simply a an appendage. An extension of Russia and that. The Kremlin has veto power over decisions made by. A duly elected government in -- So. If in fact mr. Putin's goal. Is to. Allow ukrainians to make their own decisions then he -- freed offer up his opinions about what. He would like the relationship. To be between Ukraine and Russia and I suspect that there'll be a whole lot of Ukrainian. Leaders who will take those -- in -- consideration. McCain -- out of the barrel of a -- They can be done by sending masked. Gunmen to occupy buildings or to intimidate journalists. And one of the biggest concerns that we've seen is. The Russian propaganda that has been. Blasted out nonstop. Suggesting somehow that the Ukrainian government. Is responsible for the problems in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian government has shown remarkable restraint throughout this process. The notion that this is some spontaneous uprising in eastern Ukraine. Is belied by all the evidence. Well organized trained. Armed -- malicious. With the capacity to shoot down helicopters generally. Local protesters. Don't possess that capacity of surface to air missiles or. Whatever weapons were used to shoot down helicopters tragically. We've seen. The attempts. -- monitors. Food. Were approved not just by Europe or the United States but also by Russia. Being detained. And somehow Russia's suggesting the -- is responsible for that. We've Herbert -- couldn't say well give us do a better job of reaching out Eastern Europe. Or -- eastern Ukraine. You've seen attempts by -- in a very serious way to propose decentralization. Of power. And to provide for local elections. And for them to offer amnesty to those who have already taken over these buildings none of that has been acknowledged. By mr. -- or. Various weapons Russian mouth pieces that are out there. You've also seen suggestions -- implications this amount Americans are responsible. Four meddling inside Ukraine. I have to say. That. Our only interest is for Ukraine. To be able to make its own decisions. And the last thing we want is disorder and chaos. In the senator -- So. You know for for the German audience -- perhaps as is. Tuning -- Russian TV. The I would just advised to. Stay focused on the facts and then and what's happened on the ground. Few weeks -- -- mr. -- was still denying that. The Russian military was even involved in Crimea. That a few weeks later -- I guess there was -- And and so they're there just has not been the kind. Honesty and credibility about the situation there and a willingness to engage seriously and resolving these diplomatic issues and our hope is is that in fact mr. Putin recognizes there is a way for. Him to have good relations with the Ukraine. Good relations with -- good relations -- the United States. But it is it cannot be done through the kinds of intimidation and coercion. There -- seeing take place right now -- history here. -- -- continue to live streaming -- -- that's going on right now in the White House Rose Garden with President Obama and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel. -- is a reporter's question to -- -- head off to a working lunch the primary topic to be discussed today the issues in Ukraine right now the increasing tension that's happening right now. Also we are monitoring a live stream coming out of the United Nations where an emergency session has been called by Russia. You can see right there the US ambassador to UN Samantha Power is addressing the council's. Again at issue. The situation in Ukraine. We will continue to live stream that is well however I wanna go back to our Washington bureau where -- -- obelisk standing -- -- Jim the big headlines than that came out of this news conference obviously. We're still gonna listen to the questions that -- from those reporters there. But one -- -- wanted to ask you about was that they have been talking about -- sick -- sanctions primarily. The energy sanctions that might be happening at the present at the same time said at least twice that these are not meant to punish Russia. While the Russian people. Government but not -- punish the Russian people and that the US is actually not anxious. To start these sanctions they'd much rather see a diplomatic solution. But this is the stick this is what United States and the European Union. Has at its disposal. Because they're not going to involve themselves militarily. If the Russians and continue to support unrest and continue. Even if they cross the border it's unlikely that there will be any NATO response in eastern Ukraine it's going to be instead. These sanctions in the sectors there were some very strong words from the president today especially about what happened in the Ukraine. Today as far as the two helicopters being shot down the president saying that clearly -- exposed. The Russians as supporting the quote unquote peaceful protesters there he said that it's highly unlikely that local. Protesters would have the firepower surface to air missiles or otherwise to shoot down two helicopters. And he also sent some very strong words about. Vladimir Putin who said -- he was saying that. That hit that that -- has not been dealing in an honest credible fashion. Pointing out that -- with kind of a smirk on his face a President Obama with a smirk on his face saying. -- first denied that the Russian agreement involved. In Crimea and now of course he admits -- that was those -- our guys some pretty strong words about about the the believability. The Russians the president calling it a barrage of propaganda. That is is coming out of Russia. Blaming these things on. The -- government do you -- -- legitimate Ukraine government. And not on the people that the Russians are supporting in the. Through Ukraine all right ABC's Jim model at the Washington bureau Jim thank you for -- immigrants and always appreciated of course. We will continue to live stream both of those events right here this has been an ABC news digital special report you can keep up with the story in real time. By downloading the ABC news that starring the story for exclusive updates on the -- For now I'm down -- in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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