BERLIN, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- The United States and five European Union (EU) countries expressed their support for continuing sanctions against Russia in connection with the Ukraine conflict, the Obama administration announced on Friday.
The statement came after U.S. President Barack Obama met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and the heads of government of Italy, Spain and Britain.
All the heads of state agreed that the penalties should remain in force as long as Russia did not fulfill all the obligations arising from the Minsk armistice agreement, said the statement published by the White House.
The fact that no permanent ceasefire was adhered to is worrying, said the statement, adding that security must be guaranteed and free and fair elections must be held in the occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk.
According to the statement, the participants of the meeting also made a commitment to cooperate with NATO in the future.
Obama's last official meeting with his European partners also touched upon the fight against Islamic State in Syria, Iraq and Libya as well as the refugee crisis.
The meeting marked Obama's farewell visit to Europe before the U.S. president leaves office in January.