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Obama Calls Putin to Discuss Global Crises

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama conducted a telephone conversation on Wednesday for the first time since June 2015, according to a statement by the Kremlin's official website.

The call was initiated by the United States, the Kremlin said.

The U.S. and Russian presidents discussed the conflict in the Ukraine, increased tension in the Middle East, a resolution for the Syrian crisis and the threat of North Korea successfully testing a hydrogen bomb.

The leaders also discussed aspects of bilateral relations needed to fight the threat of terrorism in the Middle East, and called for a de-escalation of the standoff between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The Kremlin described the conversation as frank and businesslike.

Putin and Obama last held talks in November during the Climate Change Conference in Paris, the RBC newspaper reported Wednesday.

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