Russian President Vladimir Putin called U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday to discuss the crisis in Ukraine.
According to the White House, Putin called "to discuss the U.S. proposal for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine." The Kremlin reported the call in broader terms as "The two leaders continued exchanging views on the crisis in Ukraine."
Putin's focus, the Kremlin noted, was on alleged violence in Kiev by extremists. "In light of this, the President of Russia suggested examining possible steps the global community can take to help stabilise the situation."
Those steps toward stabilization could be Putin's face-saving way of referring to the U.S. proposal for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis. The proposal was drafted by the U.S. in collaboration with Ukraine and European partners. Earlier in the week, Secretary of State John Kerry revisited the same proposal with his counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, during a meeting at The Hague.
Obama, the White House said, "suggested" to Putin that Russia submit a written response to the diplomatic resolution proposal.
Both the White House and Kremlin reported that the presidents had agreed that Kerry and Lavrov would meet to discuss next steps.
In the meantime, Obama encouraged Russia take steps to de-escalate the tense situation by refraining from further military buildups along the border with Ukraine.
[White House] [Kremlin]