RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia called President Obama on Friday to discuss a proposal by Mr. Obama for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, and the two leaders agreed that their chief diplomats should meet soon to explore it, the White House and Kremlin said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/29/world/europe/putin-calls-obama-on-Ukraine.html?_r=0

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Over the past several days, Mr. Obama has urged European nations and other allies to consider broadening sanctions against Russia if Mr. Putin escalates the situation in Ukraine. Mr. Obama has also vowed to enhance, with other nations’ help, NATO’s protections of member countries along the border with Russia.

Mr. Putin initiated the phone call as the sanctions and growing political isolation have already hit Russia economically, with its currency losing value, stock market dropping all amid fears of capital flight and a drop in foreign investment.