POLITICS

Obama Consults Merkel On Ukraine, Will Not Participate In G8 Summit In Sochi

WASHINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday about the situation in Ukraine and discussed a potential resolution to the crisis, a senior Obama administration official said.

The officials also said Obama would not attend a G8 summit scheduled for Sochi, Russia, in June unless there is a Russian reversal in the Ukraine crisis.

Obama has discussed with Putin what officials call an off-ramp for the Russians to the Ukraine crisis in which Russia would pull its forces in Crimea back to their bases and allow international monitors to ensure the rights of ethnic Russians are protected, the official said.

Obama also discussed with Merkel the potential solution, which would also involve the Russians engaging directly with the new government in Ukraine, the official said.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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    Vincent Mundy/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    Protestors inspect damage caused by recent anti-government protests on Independence Square following recent clashes in Kiev, Ukraine, on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. Violence is escalating in the country of 45 million as the Russian-backed leader's security service conducts a nationwide anti-terrorism operation to end the three-month uprising.
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    Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

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    Getty Images

    A wounded anti-government protester is carried to a waiting ambulance on Feb. 20, 2014, in Kiev, Ukraine. After several weeks of calm, violence has again flared between anti-government protesters and police, with dozens killed.
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    Getty Images

    Anti-government protesters clash with police in the center of Kiev on Feb. 20, 2014.
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    Anti-government protesters clear ashes and debris from a newly occupied portion of Independence Square on Feb. 20, 2014, in Kiev, Ukraine.
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    A heavily injured anti-government protestor is carried by fellow demonstrators during clashes with riot police in central Kiev on Feb. 20, 2014.
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