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Obama, Hollande call on Putin to pressure Ukraine rebels on talks

US President Barack Obama speaks ahead of a lunch with a group of teachers on July 7, 2014 in the Blue Room of the White House in WashingtonThe French and American presidents on Monday urged their Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to pressure pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine to hold talks with Kiev, a Paris statement said. Francois Hollande and Barack Obama spoke by telephone for 45 minutes and “called on President Putin to pressure the separatists so that they agree to a dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities and to reinforce control over the Russian-Ukrainian border,” said a French presidency statement. Obama and Hollande also called for a meeting “as quickly as possible with separatist elements, with the view to reaching a bilateral ceasefire,” it said.

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