Obama calls on Putin to pull back forces

imgUnited States President Barack Obama has warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin against violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and asked him to pull the forces back to their bases in Crimea.

In a 90-minute phone call, Obama expressed “deep concern” over Russia’s “violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity” and asked Putin to withdraw forces to bases in Crimea or face political and economic isolation.

“The U.S. calls on Russia to de-escalate tensions by withdrawing its forces back to bases in Crimea and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine,” the White House said in a statement.

“Obama told Putin that, if Russia has concerns about the treatment of ethnic Russian and minority populations in Ukraine, the appropriate way to address them is peacefully through direct engagement with the government of Ukraine and through the dispatch of international observers under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council or the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE),” the statement read, adding the U.S. is ready to participate.

Obama told Putin that his actions were a “breach of international law, including Russia’s obligations under the U.N. Charter, and of its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine.”

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