Tags: Putin | Obama | Russia | Ukraine

Putin Calls Obama to Discuss US Ukraine Proposal

Friday, 28 Mar 2014 06:40 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Worried about Moscow's intentions, President Barack Obama urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull his troops back from the border with Ukraine during an hourlong phone call Friday. The Russian leader, who initiated the call, asserted that Ukraine's government is allowing extremists to intimidate civilians with impunity.

The White House and the Kremlin offered starkly different summaries of the call, which occurred while Obama was traveling in Saudi Arabia. The contrasting interpretations underscored the chasm between how Moscow and Washington perceive the escalating international standoff sparked by Russia's annexation of Crimea away from Ukraine.

White House officials described the call as "frank and direct" and said Obama had urged Putin to offer a written response to a diplomatic resolution to the Ukraine crisis that the U.S. has presented. Obama told the Russian leader that Ukraine's government is pursuing de-escalation despite Russia's incursion into Crimea, urging Putin to support that effort. He urged Moscow to scale back its troop build-up on the border with Ukraine, which has prompted concerns in Kiev and Washington about a possible Russian invasion in eastern Ukraine.

The Kremlin, on the other hand, said Putin had drawn Obama's attention to a "rampage of extremists" in Ukraine and suggested "possible steps by the international community to help stabilize the situation" in Ukraine.

In a statement, the Kremlin said Putin also pointed at an "effective blockade" of Moldova's separatist region of Trans-Dniester, where Russia has troops. Russia and the local authorities have complained of Ukraine's recent moves to limit travel across the border of the region on Ukraine's southern border. There were fears in Ukraine that Russia could use its forces in Trans-Dniester to invade.

Both nations said Secretary of State John Kerry planned to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss further steps.

Obama, in a CBS News interview aired Friday but recorded before the call, said Russia is amassing troops along the Ukrainian border "under the guise of military exercises."

"It may simply be an effort to intimidate Ukraine, or it may be that they've got additional plans," Obama said. "And in either case, what we need right now to resolve and de-escalate the situation would be for Russia to move back those troops and to begin negotiations directly with the Ukrainian government, as well as the international community."

Putin's unexpected outreach to Obama came the same day that former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych pushed for a vote to determine the status of each of the country's regions — a call serving the Kremlin's purpose of turning Ukraine into a loosely knit federation and raising the threat of more unrest in Ukraine's Russian-speaking eastern provinces. The fugitive leader fled to Russia last month after three months of protests in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Russia's defense minister said the Ukrainian military withdrawal from Crimea was complete — another sign that U.S. efforts to dissuade Russia from absorbing the peninsula have thus far been unsuccessful.

In follow-up discussions between Kerry and Lavrov, the U.S. will seek to determine whether the Russians are serious about pursuing diplomacy, said a White House official, who wasn't authorized to discuss the situation by name and spoke on condition of anonymity. The official said Obama and Putin discussed the latest draft of a document that Kerry and Lavrov have been working on to lay out ways to de-escalate the conflict.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Report: Change in Speaker Rules Could Harm GOP Dissenters

Friday, 19 Sep 2014 23:27 PM

House Republicans are considering a plan on selecting future speakers in an effort to avoid the embarrassing vote surrou . . .

Rep. Stockman to Newsmax: Arm Kurds, Don't Train Syrian Rebels

Friday, 19 Sep 2014 21:36 PM

Instead of spending any of the $500 million Congress approved this week to train Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic Stat . . .

Ted Cruz: A Nuclear Iran Remains 'Most Significant Threat'

Friday, 19 Sep 2014 20:42 PM

Iran's nuclear ambitions are a bigger threat to America than the Islamic State (ISIS) militants, Sen. Ted Cruz says.

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved