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Obama, Merkel discuss Ukraine crisis in call

President Barack Obama returns to the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 17, 2014, after welcoming the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the South Lawn of the White House. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel by phone on Thursday about the situation in Ukraine, the offices of both leaders said.

Obama and Merkel agreed during the call that Russia should use its influence on armed groups in eastern Ukraine to calm the situation, a German government spokeswoman said on Thursday.

"Both shared their worries given current developments in eastern Ukraine, so they called on Russia to help contribute to a de-escalation," the spokeswoman, Christiane Wirtz, said in an email. "They said Russia in particular should use its influence on armed groups in eastern Ukraine to calm the situation," Wirtz said.

Obama and Merkel spoke around 1400 GMT (10 a.m. EDT), before the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union issued a statement calling for an end to the violence in Ukraine. (Reporting by Mark Felsenthal and Michelle Martin in Berlin; Editing by Eric Beech)

 

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