Putin called to discuss a proposal put forward by Secretary of State John F. Kerry, the White House said. Kerry presented a plan to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier this week.
The statement did not detail the proposal, but said it was being developed with Ukrainian and European partners. Obama suggested Putin put his response in writing, the White House said.
“President Obama underscored to President Putin that the United States continues to support a diplomatic path in close consultation with the government of Ukraine and in support of the Ukrainian people with the aim of de-escalation of the crisis,” the White House said in a statement. “President Obama made clear that this remains possible only if Russia pulls back its troops and does not take any steps to further violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.”
Obama took the call while traveling overseas Friday. The president spent much of the day on a formal visit with Saudi King Abdullah.