July 9, 2016 / 4:34 PM / in 3 years

Obama tells France, Germany, Italy, Britain to safeguard EU after Brexit vote

Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (L-R), Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, U.S. President Barack Obama, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's President Francois Hollande stand for a photograph after their meeting alongside the NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland July 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WARSAW (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama told the leaders of Germany, Italy, France and Britain they should “preserve the stability and well-being of the European project” after Britons voted to leave the European Union, a White House official said.

The leaders of the five leading NATO states, known as the Quint, also met with Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko to express their support for Kiev after Russia annexed its Black Sea peninsula of Crimea and then backed rebels in east Ukraine.

“The leaders agreed that Ukraine has made considerable progress on political, economic, and anti-corruption reforms, but that more work must be done to consolidate these gains,” the official said.

“The leaders reaffirmed that sanctions should only be lifted once Russia fulfils all of its Minsk commitments,” the official said, referring to a troubled peace process in east Ukraine.

Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Paul Taylor

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