News / Europe

Putin Calls Obama to Discuss Ukraine Crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a Security Council meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 28, 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a Security Council meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 28, 2014.
VOA News
Russian President Vladimir Putin called U.S. President Barack Obama Friday to discuss a U.S. proposal for resolving the crisis in Ukraine.

The White House says Obama suggested that Putin offer a written response to the proposed diplomatic solution presented to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov by Secretary of State John Kerry earlier in the week.

A White House statement about the call did not give details of the proposal Kerry gave Lavrov, but the United States has been pressing Russia to pull back its troops to their Crimean bases and allow international monitors to go into Crimea to assure that the ethnic Russian minority there is safe.

Obama says the Ukrainian government continues to take a "restrained and de-escalatory" approach to the crisis and urged Russia to support this process and avoid further provocations.

Lavrov and Kerry are expected to meet again in the coming days to discuss the next steps.

Earlier, in an interview with CBS, Obama said Russia's military moves near the Ukrainian border may be an effort to intimidate Ukraine.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Putin has assured him that Russia has no intention of making additional moves into Ukrainian territory.

In comments to reporters at the U.N. Friday, Ban urged Russia and Ukraine to avoid "hasty actions" and immediately engage in direct and constructive dialogue to resolve their problems.

On Thursday, the head of Ukraine's national security council said Russia has close to 100,000 troops along Ukraine's borders in the north, south, and east. He said Russian forces are in full readiness to strike. Western experts believe the number of Russian forces near eastern and southern Ukraine is close to 30,000.

Russia says the soldiers are involved in "springtime exercises" and has assured the United States they will not cross the border.

Additionally, a top Russian security official told Putin on Friday that there has been "a sharp increase in external threats to the state."

Alexander Malevany, the Federal Security Service's counter-terrorism director, also said what he called the "legitimate desire of the peoples of the Crimea and eastern regions of Ukraine to be together with Russia" had aroused "hysteria" among the United States and its allies.

Also Friday, Russia described as "counterproductive" a U.N. resolution that refuses to recognize its annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. Russia's Foreign Ministry said the U.N. General Assembly resolution will only complicate efforts to settle Ukraine's internal political crisis.

The U.N. General Assembly passed the non-binding resolution on Thursday, with 100 countries in favor, 11 opposed and 58 abstaining.

Crimea's majority Russian residents voted to break away from Ukraine and join Russia in a referendum earlier this month that Western powers deemed illegal.

Ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych called Friday for referendums to determine the status of all Ukrainian regions. He said only a nationwide referendum and not an early presidential election can stabilize Ukraine and preserve its sovereignty and integrity.
 
Error rendering storify.

You May Like

Bleak China Economic Outlook Rattles Markets

Several key European stock indexes were down nearly three percent, while US market indexes were off around two percent in early trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
March 29, 2014 11:11 AM
Between Obama and Putin, seems one is a teacher, the other a school boy. Or one is a boss, the other a subordinate. Obama must have issued an earlier query concluding like, 'explain to the undersigned, in writing, within 24 hours, why you premeditated to, and carried out the annexation of, Crimea; failing which... disciplinary measures will be meted out to you'. These Crimean officials are chronic liars - or how did their eyes form 100,000 soldiers when in reality there may not be up to 30,000? All for the sake of sympathy from Europe and America!

Kudos to Vladimir Putin for initiating that call. These days we see a lot of greatness in the wise and mighty stooping low to listen to the weak.I think Putin is trying to avert an escalation or aggravation of existing situation. Does Mr. Obama understand that this not a sign of weakness or a time to show a macho muscle? The situation in Ukraine is created by US and allies, and their efforts at ostracizing Russia on account of it has only led to deterioration of existing peace. Now there is a fear East Ukraine may go too, time is ticking! Obama should not think this is an opportunity for him to try score a high diplomatic point against Putin, instead he should cease the opportunity to help cement world peace using Russia's initiative right now. If the opportunity is wasted, it will be a return to more blame game and passive threats of what can be done to make life miserable in Moscow; all of which will prove futile when the chips are down.

by: Tia Gupta
March 29, 2014 2:27 AM
nice article.....

by: Todor from: Spain
March 29, 2014 12:55 AM
EU must find a way to decrease consumption of Russian gas. Russia is a threat to us as well as for Ukraine. We must not pay money and make aggressor stronger.
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
March 29, 2014 1:17 AM
Putin and Russia is a threat to Spain, you say? ... PLEASE explain why Putin and Russia would want the heavy indebted Spain? ... Putin and Russia only care for the innocent Russian people in Ukraine, and will use the (NATO rules), like NATO used the "Humanitarian reasons" to attack Yugoslavia (Serbia), and forced them to summit land for KOSOVO.... (AND?) .. now Russia will use those same (NATO rules) to protect innocent Russians for "Humanitarian reasons" from the violence from ultra-right-wing Ukraine extremists...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs