In a Monday telephone call, Obama told Putin that Moscow would face “additional costs” if the world didn’t see concrete actions to de-escalate the situation,
The phone call came to light after the Kremlin announced it. According to the official Russian account, reported by Reuters news agency, Putin said that, in order to normalize the situation in eastern Ukraine, it was necessary to "effectively end fighting and start direct talks between the conflicting parties."
Putin has said that Poroshenko's declared cease-fire in the east will work only if the Ukrainian government agrees to talk with the insurgents fighting over the border regions.
In the call, Obama asked Putin to support a peaceful outcome instead of "allowing the provision of arms and materiel across the border and continuing support for militants and separatists who are further destabilizing the situation in Ukraine," Earnest said.
"Though we believe a diplomatic solution is still possible," Earnest said, "Russia will face additional costs if we do not see concrete actions to de-escalate the situation."