Obama, Putin agree on need to ensure Ukraine deal works

People cheer as they listen to speeches in front of a statue in Independence Square in KievBy Lesley Wroughton and Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Friday that a deal aimed at halting bloody clashes between government forces and protesters in Ukraine needs to be quickly implemented so that the country stabilizes, a U.S. official said. The two leaders spoke by phone after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and opposition leaders signed the European Union-mediated peace deal. “They agreed that the agreement reached today needed to be implemented quickly, that it was very important to encourage all sides to refrain from violence, that there was a real opportunity here for a peaceful outcome,” a senior State Department official told reporters on a conference call. The White House said details of the agreement are consistent with what the United States had been urging, such as a de-escalation of the violence, constitutional change, a coalition government and early elections.

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