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Obama, Russia’s Putin discuss crises in Syria, Ukraine

By the Associated Press | January 13, 2016 | 2:05 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin have spoken about the situations in Ukraine and Syria.

The two leaders spoke by phone on Wednesday. The White House says they spent a large portion of the conversation discussing the need for Russia to live up to its commitments under a ceasefire agreement for Ukraine and to end its support for pro-Russian separatists destabilizing eastern Ukraine.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says they also discussed efforts to secure a political transition in Syria. He’s noting that the U.S. has previously complimented Russia for playing a constructive role in diplomatic talks. The U.S. has long been pressing Russia to end its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Obama and Putin last met in November on the sidelines of a summit.

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