US President Barack Obama warned Russian President Vladimir Putin at his joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House Monday. “Russia cannot redraw borders from the barrel of a gun,” he said. If Putin turns down a diplomatic solution for the Ukraine conflict, the consequences for the Russian economy – already measurable will go higher. Obama then referred for the first time to the possibility of arming the Ukraine with “lethal weapons.” Merkel accused Russian of violating the territorial integrity of Ukraine in Crimea and the east. Territorial integrity is the hallowed key to to a stable Europe, she said.
The German Chancellor arrived in Washington to brief the president on the plan for resolving the Ukraine crisis she has developed with French President Francois Hollande. Putin, Ukraine leaders and rebel representatives are scheduled to meet the two leaders in Minsk, Wednesday, in the hope of thrashing out a peace plan. Merkel stressed that the diplomatic initiative will continue. “That is the most important message we send Russia,” she said.