Speed Reads

Foreign affairs

Putin calls Obama to discuss Ukraine

The White House on Friday announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin had telephoned President Obama to discuss a diplomatic resolution to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. The administration said Obama had asked Putin to put a "concrete response in writing."

The Kremlin, of course, had a slightly different take on the phone call, saying that Putin had drawn Obama's attention to the "continued rampage of extremists who are committing acts of intimidation towards peaceful residents, government authorities, and law enforcement agencies in various regions and in Kiev with impunity."

However, there are clues that they weren't totally talking past one another, which appears to have been the case in previous phone calls between the two men since Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula. The Russian government said that Putin had "suggested examining possible steps the global community can take to help stabilize the situation," and that Russian and U.S. officials should discuss such "joint work" in the near future.