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Obama, Putin speak after Ukraine deal

Published on Feb 22, 2014 1:12 PM

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

The phone call came at a prickly time in United States-Russia relations with both 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, as they also pressed for the need to stabilize the economy.

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