WASHINGTON (AP) - The crisis in Ukraine likely will be at the top of the agenda Friday when President Barack Obama holds talks at the White House with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN'-geh-lah MEHR'-kuhl).
The two are likely to push for a display of trans-Atlantic unity against Moscow, although a host of economic sanctions imposed so far seem to be doing little to change Russian President Vladimir Putin (POO'-tihn)'s reasoning on Ukraine.
Merkel and Obama will have meetings, a working lunch and a news conference at the White House. That's just days after the U.S. and the European Union slapped Moscow with new sanctions.
Merkel comes to Washington buoyed by a decisive re-election victor. But she's under pressure as Europe seeks to toe a hard line against Russia without harming its own economic interests.
Another likely topic will be U.S. spying. The issue has continued to erode the U.S.-Germany relationship despite Obama's assurances that the National Security Agency would stop eavesdropping on Merkel's cellphone.