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Obama, Putin Discuss Crisis In Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by telephone on January 13, discussing the crises in Ukraine and Syria, the White House said.

"They spent a significant portion of their time discussing the need for the Russians to live up to the commitments that they made in Minsk -- to end their support for separatists that are destabilizing Ukraine right now," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

Obama told Putin that a key next step in resolving the Ukrainian crisis was for all sides to agree on the modalities of local elections in the Donbas region of Ukraine, the White House said in a statement.

Kyiv and Western government accuse Moscow of fueling the conflict, providing weapons and other aid to the separatists, charges the Kremlin denies.

According to the Kremlin, Putin and Obama also called for an easing of tensions between and Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The two leaders also discussed a resolution to Syria's crisis and the situation on the Korean peninsula, a Kremlin statement said.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters