President Barack Obama used a meeting with key European leaders Friday to urge them to work with the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump and to discuss steps necessary to resolve the conflicts in Syria and eastern Ukraine, the White House said.
"We accept that, and we are waiting for this application", Merkel added.
European leaders had sought Obama's support as they prepare to extend sanctions imposed on Russian Federation by Washington and Brussels in 2014 following its intervention in eastern Ukraine, and consider fresh sanctions over Russia's actions in Syria, where it backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Yesterday, Ms von der Leyen had revealed the "biggest resistance" to joint Franco-German plans to increase the EU's defence infrastructure is "coming from the British".
"My hope is that the president-elect, coming in, takes a similarly constructive approach - finding areas where we can cooperate with Russian Federation, where our values and interests align - but that the president-elect is also willing to stand up to Russian Federation where they are deviating from our values and worldwide norms", Obama said.He suggested it would be harmful if Trump takes a "realpolitik approach" where the U.S. cuts deals with Russian Federation "even if it hurts people, or even if it violates global norms or even if it leaves countries vulnerable".
She added: "That's what we have always done as Britain and Germany, it's what the United Kingdom will continue to do when we leave the European Union, including through worldwide groupings such as this".
The meeting is taking place around a circular table at Merkel's Chancellery.
"We [Russia] have never initiated sanctions".
The Prime Minister said the European leaders had also taken the "the opportunity to thank President Obama for the contribution he has made over the years and to wish him well for the future".
The White House statement followed a meeting at which Obama sought to reassure his counterparts from Germany, Britain, Spain, Italy and France that his successor Donald Trump would not break up the transatlantic alliance.
Mrs Merkel was noted to have given President-elect Trump a cooler welcome than Mrs May following his victory over Hillary Clinton in the battle for the White House.
"The leaders also confirmed the importance of continued cooperation through multilateral institutions, including North Atlantic Treaty Organisation", the White House added. For his part, Obama said Thursday his hope was that the Brexit negotiations be "conducted in a smooth and orderly and transparent fashion and preserve as closely as possible the economic and political and security relationships between the United Kingdom and European Union".