President Barack Obama today meets with a close ally to Russia as he closes out a nuclear security summit in the Netherlands that has been dominated by Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.
Before attending the Nuclear Security Summit, Obama will meet with Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev who has sought to stay neutral in the crisis, saying he understands Putin’s stance, but also calling for a resolution "on the basis of preservation of Ukraine's sovereignty within the norms of international law"
The Central Asian state has the second largest post-Soviet economy, according to Reuters.
Obama called Nazarbayev two weeks ago and the White House says they “affirmed their shared interest in identifying a peaceful resolution to the dispute between Russia and Ukraine.”
The White House said Obama “noted U.S. commitment to the principle that the Ukrainian people be able to decide their future without fear of foreign interference” and that he encouraged Kazakhstan “to play an active role in finding a peaceful outcome for Ukraine.”
Before leaving tonight for Brussels, where he will talk about Ukraine with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Obama will hold several other closed-door meetings with foreign leaders, and a press conference with Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands.
Obama will later meet with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, and later with President Park Geun-Hye of the Republic of Korea and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.