Putin calls Obama to discuss Ukraine, IS advance

Washington: Russian President Vladimir Putin today called his US counterpart Barack Obama as the two leaders discussed the situation in Ukraine, the "increasingly dangerous" advance of the Islamic State terror group and the Iran nuclear talks among a host of issues.

Obama and Putin discussed the necessity of countering the Islamic State and the situation in Ukraine, the White House said. They also discussed the developments in the Middle East, including developments in Syria and the Iranian nuclear talks.

Vladmir Putin

The US has said it would deploy heavy weapons in centraland eastern Europe for the first time. NATO has also promised that it would to step up its military presence in eastern Europe.

"Obama reiterated the need for Russia to fulfil its commitments under the Minsk agreements, including the removal of all Russian troops and equipment from Ukrainian territory," the White House said. The crisis in Ukraine has resulted in the worst standoff between Russia and the West since the Cold War.

The White House said, "The leaders discussed the increasingly dangerous situation in Syria and underscored the importance of continued P5+1 unity in ongoing negotiations to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon."

Iran and the P5+1 group Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States are working to a June 30 deadline to allay international fears that it is seeking a nuclear weapons capability. Iran denies any such ambition but is eager to secure a lifting of crippling Western economic sanctions imposed over those concerns.

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