Stop backing Ukraine rebels, Obama tells Putin - KCTV5

Stop backing Ukraine rebels, Obama tells Putin

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White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Russia will face additional costs if action is not taken to promote stability in eastern Ukraine. (Source: CBS) White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Russia will face additional costs if action is not taken to promote stability in eastern Ukraine. (Source: CBS)

WASHINGTON, DC (CBS) - President Barack Obama on Monday called Russian President Vladimir Putin and asked him to stop supporting the pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine who have been inciting violence.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Obama urged Putin to promote peace and stability in Ukraine. Earnest said the phone call was a chance for the president and Putin to build on their earlier conversations about the situation in Ukraine.

Earnest said the Obama administration still believes a political solution is possible, and Russia will face additional costs if action is not taken.

Earnest also said the United States will continue to support new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

"The president spoke to President Putin and once again urged him to support peace instead of allowing the provision of arms and material 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, Russia will face additional costs if we do not see concrete actions to de-escalate the situation."

Earnest added that Ukraine's new leader has shown he is willing to promote stability in Ukraine but needs a partner in Russia.

"It's clear that President Poroshenko is willing to go the extra mile here to try to resolve the situation and to restore some peace and security to the entire country that he governs. What we need is some cooperation with President Putin and the Russians to make that a reality," Earnest said.

Copyright 2014 CBS. All rights reserved.

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