President Obama held an hour-long phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday afternoon to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
Obama also outlined a diplomatic solution to the ongoing unrest, which would include direct talks between the Ukraine and Russia governments, ensuring Russian forces return to their bases and installing international monitors to protect the rights of all Ukrainians.
"There is a way to resolve the situation diplomatically, which addresses the interests of Russia, the people of Ukraine, and the international community," the White House said.
The call — the first known contact between the leaders since Saturday — came hours after Obama said that new sanctions on Russia will "impose a cost" for its military action in Ukraine.
Obama indicated that Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryDepleted Dems look to Senate for 2020 nominee Voters want to drain the swamp? They can start with Louisiana GOP As Congress adjusts to Trump, Iran put under the pressure it deserves MORE would continue discussions with Foreign Minister Lavrov, the government of Ukraine, and other international partners to advance those objectives.