Obama, Putin speak after Ukraine deal

US President Barack Obama waits for a meeting in the State Dining Room of the White House February 21, 2014 in WashingtonPresident Barack Obama held a “constructive” phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Friday as he pressed for swift implementation of a deal framed to end Ukraine’s deadly crackdown on protestors. The call came at a prickly time in US-Russia relations with the two sides at odds over Ukraine, Syria and other issues, but also after Obama took pains to reject the idea that a new Cold War-style confrontation was brewing. A senior US official described the call as “constructive” but also warned that the agreement reached in Kiev between the government and top opposition leaders was “very, very fragile.” “President Putin affirmed that Russia wants to remain part of the implementation process.

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