U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and Europe are united in seeking to impose a cost on Russia for its actions in Ukraine.
Mr. Obama spoke to reporters in the Netherlands ahead of an emergency meeting of the Group of Seven, or G-7 focused on Russia's annexation of Crimea. Analysts say the session appears aimed at coordinating Western sanctions imposed on Moscow since Russian troops crossed into Crimea earlier this month. The group is also expected to assess the cost of any retaliatory measures by Moscow.
President Obama said Monday that Europe and the United States are united in support of the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people. The comments came after he met with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Amsterdam.
The U.S. president's Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters Mr. Obama and other G-7 leaders will use the meeting to foreshadow the economic sanctions Russia will face "if it continues down this course." The countries will also discuss support for Ukraine and how to engage with Russia in the coming months and years. Rhodes said engagement is possible if Russia takes steps to deescalate the situation.
"Europe and America are united in our support for the Ukrainian government, the Ukrainian people And we are united in imposing a cost on Russia for its actions so far."
A two-day nuclear security summit in the Hague which started Monday was set to be the highlight of the American president's week-long trip to Europe and Saudi Arabia, before being overshadowed by developments in Ukraine.
Mr. Obama met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the nuclear summit Monday. During a joint press briefing before going into talks, the U.S. president said the relationship with China "has been as important as any bilateral relationship in the world, and we've made great strides." Mr. Obama said he and President Xi will focus on issues of mutual interest including the denuclearization of North Korea and climate change, as well as the situation in Ukraine.
President Xi told reporters "there is greater space where China and the United States are cooperating and, where we need to, can can work with each other."
On Tuesday, Mr. Obama will take part in a three-way summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye.