President Obama spoke today by phone with President Vladimir Putin of Russia to share his concern over the status of the Cessation of Hostilities in Syria between the Syrian regime and its allies on the one hand and the armed opposition on the other. President Obama stressed the importance of pressing the Syrian regime to halt its offensive attacks against the opposition. The two leaders committed to intensify their efforts to shore up the Cessation of Hostilities and affirmed the need to end attacks by all parties and ensure humanitarian access to all besieged areas. President Obama also stressed that progress on these issues needed to be made in parallel to progress on political transition to end the conflict in Syria.
On Ukraine, President Obama urged President Putin to take steps to end the significant uptick in fighting in eastern Ukraine and stressed the urgent importance of moving forward with full implementation of the Minsk agreements.