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Obama, Japanese PM discuss Ukraine in phone call

President Barack Obama pauses as he talks about the situation in Ukraine, Thursday, March 6, 2104, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. The president said a referendum for Ukraine's Crimea region to separate and become part of Russia would violate international law. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama spoke with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh ah-bay) about the situation in Ukraine and both leaders agree that Russia's actions threaten international peace and security.

In the call late Thursday, the White House says that Obama and Abe spoke of the importance of preserving Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The two leaders noted there is still an opportunity for Russia to resolve the situation diplomatically. The White House says Obama and Abe also agreed to work bilaterally and through the International Monetary Fund to support the government in Kiev as Ukraine works to stabilize its economy and prepare for May elections.

Obama also spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday and told him that Russia's actions violate Ukraine's sovereignty.

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