2014-04-14T234547Z_2_CBREA3D1T2200_RTROPTP_2_USA-OBAMA

Obama warns Russia in tense call with Putin over Ukraine

U.S. President Obama makes remarks during an Easter prayer breakfast in the East Room of the White House in WashingtonBy Jeff Mason and Arshad Mohammed WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a tense phone call on Monday that Moscow would face further costs for its actions in Ukraine and should use its influence to get separatists in the country to stand down. Armed pro-Russian separatists seized more buildings in eastern Ukraine earlier in the day, expanding their control after the government failed to follow through on a threatened military crackdown. In a call that the White House said Moscow requested, Obama told Putin that those forces were threatening to undermine and destabilize the government in Kiev. “The president emphasized that all irregular forces in the country need to lay down their arms, and he urged President Putin to use his influence with these armed, pro-Russian groups to convince them to depart the buildings they have seized,” the White House said in a statement.

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