President Barack Obama said on Monday the United States and its European allies remained committed to finding a diplomatic solution to tensions with Russia over Ukraine, Censor.NET reports citing Voice of America.
"Even as we continue to work for a diplomatic solution we are making it clear again today that if Russia continues on its current course, which is ruining the Russia economy and hurting the Russian people, as well as having such a terrible effect on Ukraine, Russia's isolation will only worsen both politically and economically," Obama said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking at a joint news conference with the U.S. leader, said that while there have been setbacks in reaching a diplomatic solution with Russia over Ukraine, she does not see a military solution to the conflict.
"If at a certain point in time one has to say that success is not possible, even if one puts every effort into it, then the United States and Europe have to sit together and try and explore further possibilities of what one can do," she said.
Obama added that the prospect for a military solution to the Ukraine-Russia conflict has always been low because of Russia's powerful military.
Obama and Merkel said the U.S. and Europe stand united to find a diplomatic solution to end the crisis in Ukraine and the resulting stand-off it triggered between Russia and Western allies.
Obama said on Monday his administration is looking at all options in handling the crisis in Ukraine, but he has not yet decided whether the United States will provide arms.
"The possibility of lethal defensive weapons is one of those options that is being examined, but I have not made a decision about that yet," he said.
Merkel opposes the move for fear of escalating tensions with Moscow, already at their highest point since the end of the Cold War.
Obama, in agreement with Merkel, also pledged to keep up economic sanctions on Russia, as well as continue to work with the international community to turn up the diplomatic pressure to resolve the conflict in Ukraine.