Obama and Merkel discuss more sanctions on Russia for the crisis in Ukraine

Obama said that sanctions are not intended to "punish the Russian people" but to dissuade the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, to continue on its current course

President Barack Obama said his country and Germany are prepared to impose broader sanctions if Russia continues to destabilize Ukraine. "We will have no choice but to continue with additional more severe sanctions" if Russia intervenes in elections scheduled for May 25 in Ukraine, said Obama at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, visiting the White House .

"We are confident that we will have a package that will hurt growth and further Russia's economy," Obama said, adding that sanctions could be against the energy, financial and Russian arms industries.

Meanwhile, Merkel said that the European Union is prepared to impose a new round of sanctions against Russia with "a wide range of possibilities" and emphasized that sanctions against Russia show that "we mean business when it comes to our principles."

source: News Agency Xinhua of China

traslation: Belén Zapata