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Obama Calls Putin, Urges Him to Agree to Ukraine Peace Deal

U.S. President Barack Obama listens to German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Feb. 9, 2015.

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Barack Obama has called Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss escalating violence in eastern Ukraine and urged him to agree to a peace deal, the White House said.

"President Obama underscored the rising human toll of the fighting and underscored the importance of President Putin seizing the opportunity presented by the ongoing discussions between Russia, France, Germany, and Ukraine to reach a peaceful resolution," the White House said Tuesday.

"If Russia continues its aggressive actions in Ukraine, including by sending troops, weapons, and financing to support the separatists, the costs for Russia will rise."

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