Putin calls Obama to discuss US proposal on Ukraine: White House

President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin called U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday to discuss a U.S. diplomatic proposal for Ukraine, the White House said.

Obama suggested to Putin that Russia put a "concrete response in writing" to the U.S. proposal, a White House statement said.

Obama has sought Russian support for a diplomatic resolution in which international monitors would ensure that ethnic Russians in the Crimea region are protected and that Russian troops would return to their bases.

"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.