US President Barack Obama has accused his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of failing to offer a diplomatic solution to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
In a phone conversation on Monday, Obama said Russia’s actions in Ukraine were not conducive, a senior administration official said, as reported by Reuters.
“The president made clear that the diplomatic path was open and our preferred way ahead, but that Russia’s actions are neither consistent with or conducive to that,” the official said.
Obama told Putin that Kiev had made “real offers” to address concerns about the decentralization of powers to local governments in the country.
“That is a matter for Ukrainians to decide,” the official said. “We have always and will continue to support an inclusive process.”
Putin to Obama: Use your influence to prevent bloodshed
In response, Putin rejected Western claims that Moscow is behind attacks on government buildings, saying they were “based on unfounded information,” The Kremlin said.
Putin urged Obama to use the White House’s influence on the Ukrainian government to prevent further “bloodshed” from occurring in the country.
Putin dismissed recent reports that peg Russia as being responsible for heated protests that have erupted in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian activists have successfully managed to seize a number of local government buildings and police stations.