Obama speaks with Putin as tensions in eastern Ukraine rise

   < < Go Back
from FoxNews,

President Obama told Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Monday that the U.S. had “grave concern” about Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine — as pro-Russian protesters stormed government buildings in what U.S. officials said appears to be a coordinated effort backed by Moscow.

A senior administration official said the call between the two world leaders was “frank and direct,” and was at the request of the Russians.

The White House said Obama told Putin Russia’s support of pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine was a matter of “grave concern,” and urged Putin to convince the forces to leave the buildings they have seized.

“The president made clear that the diplomatic path was open and our preferred way ahead, but that Russia’s actions are neither consistent with or conducive to that,” the official said.

The White House said Obama also told Putin he believes a diplomatic solution cannot succeed as long as the Russian government continues its aggression in Ukraine.

The Kremlin also issued a statement about the phone call, saying Putin urged Obama to use the U.S.’ capabilities to prevent bloodshed in the region. Putin told Obama that concerns about meddling in southeastern Ukraine are speculations based on “inaccurate information.”

More From FoxNews: