President Obama was skeptical Wednesday of a reported cease-fire between Ukraine and Russia, as the Kremlin hit back at suggestions that the Russian and Ukrainian governments had agreed to halt violence in eastern Ukraine.
“It’s too early to tell what this cease-fire means,” Obama said during a press conference in Estonia. “We haven’t seen any details.”
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday announced a “lasting cease-fire” with Russia, but the Kremlin later insisted that they had not entered into such an agreement. A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia had agreed on the need for peace in eastern Ukraine but that the nation could not sign off on a cease-fire because it was not responsible for the violence in the region.
For his part, Obama noted that Russian separatists have repeatedly ignored cease-fires and received continued support from the Kremlin.
“We haven’t seen a lot of follow-up on so-called announced cease-fires,” Obama said.
“Having said that, if in fact Russia is prepared to stop financing, arming, training, in many cases joining with Russian troops [in] activities in Ukraine and is serious about a political settlement, that is something we all hope for,” the president added.
Obama’s trip to Estonia is meant to reassure allies that the U.S. has a plan to counter Russia’s increasingly aggressive incursions into Ukraine.