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Putin and Obama discuss Ukraine's peace plan

Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed proposals for peace in Ukraine with the US President Barack Obama today, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Speaking on the phone, the two leaders discussed the Ukrainian military ceasefire that was declared by President Petro Poroshenko last week.

Mr Obama urged Mr Putin to support the peace plan and said Moscow would face further "costs" if it did not take steps to reduce tensions in the country, the White House said.

Obama: Putin must recognise new Ukraine President

Barack Obama has told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that he must recognise the new Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko in order to help de-escalate the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin in front of Barack Obama before a 'family photo' of leaders at the D-Day commemoration. Credit: Kay Nietfeld/DPA/Press Association Images

According to a White House official, the US President also told Mr Putin that if Russia works with the new Ukrainian authorities there could be "openings" to reduce tensions in the region.

Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes added that Mr Obama had demanded "ceasing support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, and stopping the provision of arms and material across the border".


Cameron warns Putin to 'change course' on Ukraine

David Cameron has issued a fresh warning to Russia over Ukraine ahead of meeting president Putin tomorrow.

David Cameron and Vladimir Putin met in London, June 2013. Putin did not attend today's G7 summit. Credit: Reuters

Speaking from Brussels at the first G7 summit without Russia for 17 years, Mr Cameron said: "The G7 should send a clear message of support to Ukraine and a united message to President Putin that he needs to engage with the Ukrainian government to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

"That's what I'll be saying to President Putin myself tomorrow. This is the first summit without Russia since the 1990s. And until they change course, they need to understand that they will face continuing isolation and no seat at the table."

The G7 leaders effectively expelled Russia from the annual gathering, which Mr Putin had been due to to host in Sochi, following its incursion into Crimea.

Cameron and Putin are due to meet tomorrow in Paris ahead of the D-Day 70th anniversary commemorations on Friday.

Putin calls for 'immediate halt' to Ukraine fighting

A truck blasted with bullets near Donetsk airport. Credit: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for an 'immediate halt' to fighting in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.

In his first comments since new Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko was elected on Sunday Putin urged Kiev to start talks with rebel leaders.

But the Ukrainian government has accused Russia of sending "terrorists" across its border.

Ukraine's foreign ministry said: "There are grounds to believe that Russian terrorists are being sent onto Ukrainian territory, organised and financed under the direct control of the Kremlin and Russian special forces."

'No new Cold War' says Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Credit: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed talk of a new Cold War over the Ukraine crisis.

The former KGB agent blamed the unrest in the country on the West and said sanctions on the US and European Union would rebound.

He also denied trying to rebuild the Soviet Union after reclaiming Crimea and pledged he would work with whoever is elected in Ukraine this weekend.

"I would not like to think this is the start of a new Cold War. It is in no one's interest and I think it will not happen," he said.

The crisis has plunged East-West relations to their lowest level since the Cold War ended in 1991.


Putin concerns at Ukraine 'radicals' disrupting gas supply

Vladimir Putin has said he is concerned that "radicals" in Ukraine may try to disrupt the supply of natural gas from Russia to Europe.

Vladimir Putin has voiced concerns about Russian gas supplies to Europe. Credit: Alexei Druzhinin/Photas/Tass/Press Association Images

"I won't deny that we are seriously worried by Ukrainian radicals' statements and open threats to hinder gas transit. We still hope common sense will prevail there," the Russian president said.

Many European nations depend on Russian gas that flows through pipelines in Ukraine.

Putin jumps on the ice to celebrate hockey in Sochi

Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken part in an ice hockey match between Russian amateur players and ice hockey stars, at a festival of Russia's amateur hockey.

Putin skates around the ice rink during the match. Credit: AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Presidential Press Service

Donned in a red outfit and pads, the event was organised by the Night Hockey League near the Olympic Park in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia.

US: Putin trip to Crimea 'provocative' and 'unnecessary'

The Obama administration has attacked Vladimir Putin over his visit to Crimea today, calling the move "provocative and unnecessary".

The Russian President visited the peninsula, annexed from Ukraine in March, to mark the anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany.

Vladimir Putin speaking at a Victory Day parade in the Crimean city of Sevastopol. Credit: Associated Press

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki issued a strong condemnation of the visit, saying:

"This trip is provocative and unnecessary. Crimea belongs to Ukraine and we don't recognize, of course, the illegal and illegitimate steps by Russia in that regard,"

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