Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Angela Merkel meets Obama, set for private briefing with Stephen Harper
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be in Ottawa later today to give Prime Minister Stephen Harper an update on her frenzied transatlantic shuttle diplomacy on the Ukraine crisis.
The Canadian Press has learned Merkel’s supper-hour arrival in Ottawa for talks with Harper will allow the prime minister to receive a private briefing on the West’s renewed push to end the continued fighting in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine’s military has been battling Russian-backed separatists since April in a conflict that the United Nations says has killed 5,300 people, a figure that has spiked in recent weeks.
Merkel was in Washington this morning for a previously scheduled meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, amid reports of a rift between the U.S. and Europe over whether to arm Ukraine’s military.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Merkel, Obama said Russian aggression against Ukraine has reinforced the unity of the U.S. and its partners in Europe and around the world. If Russia continues on its current course, he added, its political and economic isolation will worsen.
Obama said Russia has violated nearly every commitment it made in a previous deal reached in Minsk. He said instead of withdrawing troops, Russian forces have continued to operate in eastern Ukraine and to co-ordinate attacks.
He says Russia has sent in more tanks, heavy artillery and armoured personnel. Obama says separatists have seized more territory with Russia’s support. (Source: Toronto Star)