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The president and Mr. Putin have been locked in a tense standoff since Russian forces rolled through Crimea earlier this month and Russia annexed the region of Ukraine, a move that the United States and its allies refuse to recognize.
Over the past several days, Mr. Obama has urged European nations and other allies to consider broadening sanctions against Russia if Mr. Putin escalates the situation in Ukraine. Mr. Obama has also vowed to enhance, with other nations’ help, NATO’s protections of member countries along the border with Russia.
According to the White House Russian President Vladimir Putin has contacted President Obama to discuss a proposal put forth by Obama to diffuse the current "stand of" between the two nations.
While it appears neither side is prepared to fall back and give any ground Putin and Obama agreed that Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov should meet soon for discussions.
As the Grizzly and the Cub posture for the advantage position in their international diplomatic dance the world waits. And, the absurdity of humans vying for the ultimate pinnacle if power and control over the lives of continues.
NYT - RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia called President Obama on Friday to discuss a proposal by Mr. Obama for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, and the two leaders agreed that their chief diplomats should meet soon to explore it, the White House and Kremlin said.
In a statement from the White House, officials said that the telephone call from the Russian president followed a proposal presented by Secretary of State John Kerry to Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, during talks at the Hague earlier this week.
While there was no immediate indication that either side was prepared to give ground, Mr. Putin’s telephone call in itself appeared to represent a shift in tone aimed at defusing a serious rupture in relations and Russia’s increasing isolation.
American officials did not describe details about the proposal but said that Mr. Obama told Mr. Putin during the call that the United States would like to see a diplomatic solution that involves Russia pulling back its troops from the Crimean Peninsula and not making any further steps to invade other parts of Ukraine.
The statement said that Mr. Obama, who was visiting Saudi Arabia on Friday, “urged Russia to support this process and avoid further provocations, including the buildup of forces on its border with Ukraine.”
White House officials said that Mr. Obama and Mr. Putin agreed during the call that Mr. Kerry and Mr. Lavrov would meet soon “to discuss next steps.”
Officials did not say when that meeting might happen. Mr. Kerry has been in Europe with Mr. Obama during the past week and was in Riyadh Friday with the president for a meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
White House officials said Mr. Obama took the call from Mr. Putin at the Ritz Carlton hotel here in Riyadh Friday evening after he finished a two-hour dinner with King Abdullah to discuss Iran, Syria and other security issues.
Political unrest in Ukraine escalated into a full-blown crisis reminiscent of the Cold War last month when protesters forced Ukraine’s pro-Kremlin president, Viktor F. Yanukovych, to flee.
Russia has since asserted that it has acted to defend its legitimate interests in Ukraine, which was once a part of the Soviet Union, and has accused the interim government there of seizing power in a Western-backed coup.
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