Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with US President Barack Obama on the American side’s initiative, the press offices of both leaders confirmed.
“President [Obama] reiterated his deep concerns about Russia’s increased support for the separatists in Ukraine. The President reinforced his preference for a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine, and the two leaders agreed to keep open their channels of communication. The President also reiterated his concerns about Russia’s compliance with its obligations under the INF Treaty,” the White House press release stated.
The Kremlin’s version went into more detail, but did not mention the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which President Obama claims the Russian side has violated by testing a cruise missile. Instead, the Kremlin criticized the new round of economic sanctions.
“Despite their significant differences in views on many fundamental issues, both sides stressed the urgency of an immediate and stable ceasefire in southeast Ukraine and the launch of a political process. In this regard, the two presidents gave a positive assessment of the consultations by a contact group held in Minsk and noted the importance of continuing talks in this format,” The Kremlin stated.
The Moscow statement went on to say that the two heads of state discussed many aspects of the countries bilateral relations. “The President of Russia described Washington’s actions to impose pressure through sanctions as counterproductive, causing serious damage to bilateral cooperation and international stability overall,” the Kremlin press release said.