Obama called Putin and Putin agreed to carry on taking calls from Obama

Following a phone conversation between President Obama and President Putin “to discuss the decisions and agreements made at the February 11 meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG),” the White House said: “The leaders agreed that the United States and Russia will remain in communication on the important work of the ISSG.”

That’s it: they’ll remain in communication.

Obama can stress the importance, emphasize the importance, reiterate the importance, and do as much urging as he wants. To Putin, this is just yada yada yada.

The Washington Post reports: President Obama and Russian President Vladi­mir Putin have agreed to intensify diplomatic and military cooperation to implement a cease-fire and the delivery of aid in Syria, the Kremlin said early Sunday.

A statement from Putin’s office said that Obama initiated a telephone conversation between the two. The White House, which said the call took place Saturday, did not mention increased U.S.-Russia cooperation but said that Obama stressed the importance “of rapidly implementing humanitarian access to besieged areas.” Obama also urged Putin to cease Russia’s air campaign against “moderate opposition forces” in Syria, according to a White House statement released Sunday.

The call came amid reports that at least one siege had been broken with the first delivery of humanitarian aid to the rebel-held Douma area, east of the Syrian capital of Damascus. Douma had been cut off by government troops since 2013. A United Nations spokesperson said from Geneva, where a task force is organizing aid under an agreement reached Friday in Munich, that the Douma delivery was a previously scheduled shipment by the Syrian Red Crescent. [Continue reading…]

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