- The Washington Times - Monday, June 23, 2014

President Obama spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday and urged him to “support peace” in Ukraine or face additional economic sanctions, the White House said.

The Monday morning phone call centered on the administration’s desire to see Mr. Putin use his “personal influence” over pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine to bring an end to violence and instability.

The White House also says it strongly supports new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the steps he’s taken to bring peace to the troubled region.

“It’s clear President Poroshenko is willing to go the extra mile here to try and resolve the situation and restore some peace and security to the entire country he governs,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said. “What we need is some cooperation with President Putin and the Russians to make that a reality.”

A cease-fire was declared last week in eastern Ukraine, though Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian activists reportedly clashed again over the weekend.