The White House says Russian President Vladimir Putin called President Obama today to discuss the U.S. proposal for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine -- and that they agreed to have Secretary of State John Kerry meet with his Russian counterpart to discuss the U.S. proposal for a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine.
THe White House noted Kerry had “again” presented the plan to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a meeting at the Hague earlier this week, and which the U.S. developed following consultations with its Ukrainian and European partners.
President Obama suggested that Russia put a concrete response in writing and the presidents agreed that Kerry and Lavrov would meet to discuss next steps.
The White House says Obama “noted that the Ukrainian government continues to take a restrained and de-escalatory approach to the crisis and is moving ahead with constitutional reform and democratic elections, and urged Russia to support this process and avoid further provocations, including the buildup of forces on its border with Ukraine.
“President Obama underscored to President Putin that the United States continues to support a diplomatic path in close consultation with the Government of Ukraine and in support of the Ukrainian people with the aim of de-escalation of the crisis. President Obama made clear that this remains possible only if Russia pulls back its troops and does not take any steps to further violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
“President Obama reiterated that the United States has strongly opposed the actions that Russia has already taken to violate Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
By Lesley Clark
McClatchy Washington Bureau