WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country's actions are a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The White House says the two leaders spoke for an hour Thursday afternoon. It's their first known contact since Saturday, shortly after Russian troops took control of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.
The White House says Obama told Putin there was still a way to resolve the dispute diplomatically. He said a resolution would entail Russian forces moving back to their base in Crimea, the governments of Ukraine and Russia holding direct talks, and installing international monitors to ensure the rights of ethnic Russians in Ukraine are protected.
The U.S. is also calling on Russia to recognize the legitimacy of Ukrainian plans for elections in May.