President Barack Obama spoke by phone for an hour with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday about a peace deal aimed at halting violence in Ukraine, a top White House official said.
Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes confirmed on MSNBC's "NOW with Alex Wagner" that the leaders spoke.
U.S. officials said Putin agreed that the peace deal should be implemented quickly. Putin sent a deputy to monitor the talks between protesters and Ukraine's government, but Russia did not sign the deal, the officials said.
White House spokesman Jay Carney earlier told reporters, “Russia’s efforts on behalf of creating the ceasefire and these agreements are obviously welcome."
“The fact of the matter is, it is Russia’s interest for the violence to end in Ukraine, as it is in the interest of the United States and our European friends and of course, most importantly, the Ukrainian people," Carney said.
NBC News' Andrea Mitchell contributed to this report.
First published February 21 2014, 10:28 AM