President Barack Obama has said that he is looking into the possibility of supplying weapons to Ukraine to aid the fight against Russian rebels in the east of the country.
Supplying lethal weapons would only be considered by the White House if diplomacy fails.
According to a report by the BBC, President Obama considered that Russia had violated “every commitment” made in the failing Minsk agreement, he added, after talks with the German chancellor on a new peace deal.
While President Obama and Chancellor Merkel discussed the issue of Ukraine, Russia continues to deny that it has sent any troops or weapons to help the fight of the rebels in the country.
This latest round of diplomatic efforts comes as fighting in Ukraine between the pro-Russian rebels and troops from the Ukrainian government fight in the area of the strategic railway hub of Debaltseve.
According to the BBC, the rebels said they had cut off a key supply road to the town, which is near the rebel-held city of Donetsk, but the military says the battle is ongoing.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has blamed the west for the crisis that has unfolded in Ukraine and is currently considering peace proposals that have been put forward.
So fa the US has kept back from direct involvement in the fighting in Ukraine, preferring to leave negotiations to those in Europe, however the arrival of Mrs Merkel in Washington has brought the situation to the forefront of European- US relations.
According to the BBC Mrs Merkel made it clear that she opposes providing lethal arms to the Ukraine government, telling a security conference at the weekend that she did not believe more weapons could “lead to the progress Ukraine needs”.
Instead she and the French President Francois Hollande have been leading the way with effort to try and revive the Minsk peace plan, to bring stability back to the Ukraine and to Europe as a whole.
While talks have been going on at the White House, back in Europe EU foreign ministers in Brussels agreed to impose further sanctions against Russian and rebel officials, but have put them on hold for a week to give the peace efforts a chance according to the BBC.
President Putin continues to lay the blame of the crisis in Ukraine at the door of the EU and speaking during an interview published in a newspaper in Egypt he said that those in the west were guilty of supporting a “coup d’etat in Kiev” – a reference to the ousting of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych last year.