Putin calls Obama, dis­cuss Ukraine, IS, Iran: White House

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY JIM KUHN­HENN

Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and Pres­i­dent Barack Obama spoke by tele­phone Thurs­day and dis­cussed con­tin­ued ten­sions in eastern Ukraine and the fight against the Is­lamic State in the Mid­dle East. The last time the men spoke was in Fe­bru­ary, the White House said.

Both the White House and the Krem­lin of­fered sim­i­lar state­ments de­scib­ing the con­ver­sa­tion, Thurs­day evening. The White House said Putin ini­ti­ated the call to Obama.

The White House said Obama told Putin Rus­sia needs to meet com­mit­ments it made in Minsk, Be­larus, ear­lier this year, in­clud­ing the re­moval of troops and equip­ment from Ukrainian ter­ri­tory. The Krem­lin said the two lead­ers agreed that U.S. As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary of State Vic­to­ria Nu­land and Rus­sian Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Grig­ory Karasin will dis­cuss im­ple­men­ta­tion of these agree­ments.

The call came on the same day NATO’s supreme al­lied com­man­der cited a con­tin­u­ous flow of am­mu­ni­tion and other mil­i­tary sup­plies from Rus­sia across the bor­der to Ukraine.

The Krem­lin said the two men de­voted “sig­nif­i­cant at­ten­tion” to con­fronting ter­ror­ism and the Is­lamic State in par­tic­u­lar and agreed to have Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry meet to re­view the is­sue.

The White House and the Krem­lin said the two lead­ers also ad­dressed con­tin­ued blood­shed in Syria and agreed on the im­por- tance of unity among the six world pow­ers that are ne­go­ti­at­ing to re­strict Iran’s nu­clear ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

The call from Putin came just days af­ter the Rus­sian leader spoke with French Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande and Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel about the sit­u­a­tion in eastern Ukraine, a day be­fore Paris talks be­tween the for­eign min­is­ters of Rus­sia, France, Ger­many and Ukraine.

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