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Apr 18, 3:27 PM EDT

Obama-Putin discuss need to implement Ukraine peace deal


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MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama have spoken by telephone, and the White House says they spent much of the call discussing Ukraine, with Obama urging Putin to abide by a 2015 agreement aimed at ending the conflict.

The Kremlin readout of Monday's call stresses Putin's hope that Ukraine will "finally begin to take concrete steps to implement the Minsk agreement."

The cease-fire has significantly reduced fighting between government troops and Russia-backed separatists, but the political settlement that was part of the agreement hasn't been implemented.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said: "Russia needs to abide by their commitments and, by doing so, they can begin to relieve some of the isolation sustained as a result of interfering with their sovereign neighbors in Ukraine."

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