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Obama calls European allies on Russia-Ukraine

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Photo - U.S. President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks during a joint news conference with South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the Blue House, Friday, April 25, 2014, in Seoul, South Korea. The U.S. and Europe are laying the groundwork to sanction broad sections of Russia's economy if Moscow invades eastern Ukraine, Obama said Friday, even as he acknowledged those sanctions may fail to deter Vladimir Putin. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
U.S. President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks during a joint news conference with South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the Blue House, Friday, April 25, 2014, in Seoul, South Korea. The U.S. and Europe are laying the groundwork to sanction broad sections of Russia's economy if Moscow invades eastern Ukraine, Obama said Friday, even as he acknowledged those sanctions may fail to deter Vladimir Putin. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — President Barack Obama has told four European leaders the United States is prepared to impose new sanctions on Russia. The White House says the allies on Friday agreed Russia has not abided by an agreement to ease tensions with Ukraine and has escalated strains in the eastern parts of the former Soviet state.

The White House says Obama spoke with French President Francois Hollande (frahn-SWAH' oh-LAWND'), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN'-geh-lah MEHR'-kuhl), British Prime Minister David Cameron and Italian Premier Matteo Renzi.

Obama placed the conference call while in South Korea, the second stop of a four-country Asian trip.

The White House says the leaders agreed Russia has not lived up to an agreement signed in Geneva last week by using worrisome rhetoric and threatening military exercises on Ukraine's border.

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