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Obama confronts Putin in call as crisis escalates

A pro-Russia militiaman guards a barricade bearing the Russian flag on the road leading to the Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 14, 2014Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin confronted one another in telephone talks Monday as a standoff over Ukraine escalated after the CIA chief visited Kiev and a Russian war plane “buzzed” a US destroyer. Washington said it was consulting European allies and hinted that more sanctions on Russia’s economy could be coming, to punish what it sees as Moscow’s sponsorship of pro-Russia violence in eastern Ukraine. The Kremlin said that Putin used the latest in a string of tense phone calls with Obama to brand US charges of meddling in eastern Ukraine as “unfounded.” There were no immediate readouts of the call from the White House, which earlier was the first to say it would take place.

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