At the US initiative, Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with US President Barack Obama


he two presidents continued discussions on the various aspects of the crisis in Ukraine. Mr Putin noted that the current authorities in Kiev have so far failed to demonstrate the ability and desire to rein in the ultranationalist and radical groups that are destabilising the situation in the country and terrorising ordinary people, including the Russian-speaking population and Russia’s compatriots.

In this context, the two presidents discussed the possibility of sending an OSCE mission to monitor the situation in Ukraine. Mr Putin said that this mission, if it goes ahead, should cover all parts of Ukraine.

Regarding the March 16 referendum in Crimea, Mr Putin said that the decision to hold the referendum was in line with international law and the UN Charter, and was also in line with the precedent set by Kosovo. The referendum was organised in such a way as to guarantee Crimea’s population the possibility to freely express their will and exercise their right to self-determination.

The two presidents said that despite their differences of opinion, they must continue working together to seek solutions that will help to stabilise the situation in Ukraine.

Mr Obama congratulated Mr Putin on the success of the Paralympic Games and asked Mr Putin to pass on his greetings to the athletes.