Obama blasts Russia, tells Putin U.S. wants diplomatic solution in Ukraine

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Inside the Phone Call Between Obama and Putin

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Inside the Phone Call Between Obama and Putin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday that the United States preferred a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine but blasted Russia for taking actions that were not "conducive" to such a path.

"The president made clear that the diplomatic path was open and our preferred way ahead, but that Russia's actions are neither consistent with or conducive to that," a senior administration official said about the call between the leaders.

Obama told Putin that Kiev had made "real offers" to address concerns about the decentralization of powers to local governments in the country, the official said.

"That is a matter for Ukrainians to decide," the official said. "We have always and will continue to support an inclusive process."

The official said the call, described as "frank and direct," came at the request of the Russians.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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