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Obama, Putin have "constructive" phone call after Ukraine deal

Published on Feb 22, 2014 7:12 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Barack Obama held a "constructive" phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Friday as he pressed for swift implementation of a deal framed to end Ukraine's deadly crackdown on protestors.

The call came at a prickly time in US-Russia relations with the two sides at odds over Ukraine, Syria and other issues, but also after Mr Obama took pains to reject the idea that a new Cold War-style confrontation was brewing.

A senior US official described the call as "constructive" but also warned that the agreement reached in Kiev between the government and top opposition leaders was "very, very fragile." Mr Putin and Mr Obama agreed that the Ukraine agreement needed to be swiftly implemented and that all sides needed to refrain from violence.

"President Putin affirmed that Russia wants to remain part of the implementation process. They also talked about the need to stabilize the Ukrainian economy and to get Ukraine back on a peaceful path," the official said, on condition of anonymity.

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