Merkel, Obama agree annexing Crimea violates Ukraine's integrity

BERLIN Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:57pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama pauses while speaking about the crisis in Ukraine from the White House in Washington March 17, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Barack Obama pauses while speaking about the crisis in Ukraine from the White House in Washington March 17, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Angela Merkel and U.S. President Barack Obama agreed in a call on Tuesday that Crimea's declaration of independence and Russia's annexation of the peninsula was an "unacceptable blow to the territorial integrity of Ukraine", her office said.

The German chancellor's office said in a statement that both leaders viewed European Union and U.S. sanctions against people implicated in the annexation of Crimea as a consequence of Russia's actions, but they both remained open to dialogue.

Defying Ukrainian protests and Western sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty on Tuesday making Crimea part of Russia again but said he did not plan to seize any other regions of Ukraine.

(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Stephen Brown)

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