The White House said Obama urged Putin to seize the opportunity of peace talks between Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany.
Obama told Putin if Russia continues aggressive actions in Ukraine, “including by sending troops, weapons, and financing to support the separatists, the costs for Russia will rise,” the White House said.
Russia categorically denies involvement of its troops in the Ukranian conflict, insisting that it is a civil war between the central government and anti-Kiev rebels.
According to the Kremlin read-out of the conversation, Putin stressed the importance of finding a political solution to the Ukrainian conflict. He also emphasized the need to end bloodshed swiftly and secure the rights of people living in all Ukraine’s regions.
The two leaders agreed to continue communicating on the issue.
The call comes one day after a meeting between Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel – in which Ukraine was one of the main topics – and on the eve of the Minsk negotiations between Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France.