MOSCOW, July 18, /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has had a telephone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama, in the course of which they discussed the crisis situation in Ukraine, the Kremlin press service said Thursday.
Putin voiced serious disappointment with a yet another unconstructive decision by Washington regarding the imposition of so-called sectoral sanctions against the Russian economy that inflict damage to both bilateral damage and to the efforts to tap compromise solutions that would help settle the Ukrainian crisis.
As the two leaders discussed the acute situation in Ukraine, the Russian President again stressed the importance of an urgent and unconditional ceasefire on both sides of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine since it has already resulted in the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens to Russia to seek refuge there.
Putin emphasized the unacceptability of shelling of the Russian territory by the Ukrainian Army, which has already brought about victims among Russian citizens.
“The Russian President informed Barack Obama on the measures Russia had taken to facilitate the resumption of work of a contact group, in which representatives of the southeast take part,” the Kremlin press service said. Hope was expressed that the American side would also contribute to the process of peace talks in Ukraine.
Russia’s initiative to position observers of the European security organization OSCE at a number of checkpoints on the Russian-Ukrainian border is called upon to add to the facilitation of the process, too.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters in Washington Obama had informed Putin that the U.S. might expand the current sanctions if Moscow did not change its stance on Ukraine.
Washington would take additional steps if Moscow did not take enough measures do de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine.
The two leaders also exchanged opinions on the situation in the Middle East. Putin told Obama about the results of his trip to Latin America and the BRICS summit.