President Obama and German chancellor Angela Merkel spoke on the phone about the violence in Ukraine. The two leaders agreed "to stay in close touch in the days ahead," according to a White House read-out of the call.

"President Obama spoke with Chancellor Merkel by phone today, to consult on the situation in Ukraine. They agreed that it is critical that the United States, Germany and the European Union continue to stay in close touch in the days ahead on steps we can take to support an end to the violence and a political solution that is in the best interests of the Ukrainian people," states the White House read-out.

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