U.S. President Barack Obama in a telephone conversation with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin called on the Russian side to promote the normalization of the situation in the south-east of Ukraine.
"The U.S. president stressed that all irregular forces in the country should lay down their arms," Interfax reports. Obama asked Putin to "use his influence" to ensure that the situation in the south-east of Ukraine stabilizes and radical opponents of the current Kiev authorities release the buildings they occupy.
Earlier, the Kremlin press service said that the two presidents discussed the situation in south-eastern regions of Ukraine that were "gripped with the protest movement against the policies of the current government of Kiev." "The Russian side stressed out that the protests in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Slavyansk and other Ukrainian cities in the south-east was a result of the unwillingness and inability of the leadership in Kiev to take into account the interests of Russian and Russian-speaking population," Kremlin representatives said.
"Putin urged Obama to make the maximum use of capabilities of the American side to prevent the use of force and bloodshed," said the press service.
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