Russian President Vladimir Putin called President Barack Obama on Friday to discuss a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine, according to a White House readout of the phone conversation.
Putin called to deliberate a U.S. proposal for a diplomatic solution to ease international tensions following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Both leaders agreed that Secretary of State John Kerry and his counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, should meet to discuss the next steps of the process.
The phone conversation followed a proposal from Kerry to Lavrov presented during talks in the Netherlands earlier this week, according to the White House. Though the administration has not yet released the details of the proposal.
Obama has publicly called for a diplomatic solution that includes Russian forces pulling back from Crimea and making no further intrusions into Ukraine.
The president asked for Putin to put a “concrete response in writing” to the U.S. proposal, according to the administration.
Obama “urged Russia to support this process and avoid further provocations, including the buildup of forces on its border with Ukraine,” according to the readout.
According a Russian readout of the call, Putin drew Obama's attention to the "continued rampage of extremists" in Ukraine and urged the president to work with the global community "to stabilize the situation."
First published March 28 2014, 2:27 PM