According to the White House, President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin spent “an hour” on the phone together Thursday afternoon.
The White House distributed a readout of the call, which said the pair discussed the situation in Ukraine. Obama reiterated his position Russia violated international law by sending troops into the Ukrainian region of Crimea. Obama also continued his push for a diplomatic solution to the conflict with talks between Ukraine and Russia, international monitors in the region, and Russian forces returning to their bases. The White House did not divulge any information about Putin’s response.
Read the full readout of the call below:
President Obama spoke for an hour this afternoon with President Putin of Russia. President Obama emphasised that Russia’s actions are in violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, which has led us to take several steps in response, in coordination with our European partners. President Obama indicated that there is a way to resolve the situation diplomatically, which addresses the interests of Russia, the people of Ukraine, and the international community. As a part of that resolution, the governments of Ukraine and Russia would hold direct talks, facilitated by the international community; international monitors could ensure that the rights of all Ukrainians are protected, including ethnic Russians; Russian forces would return to their bases; and the international community would work together to support the Ukrainian people as they prepare for elections in May. President Obama indicated that Secretary Kerry would continue discussions with Foreign Minister Lavrov, the government of Ukraine, and other international partners in the days to come to advance those objectives.
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