(QHA) -

President Obama today called President Vladimir Putin of Russia to address the escalating violence in eastern Ukraine and Russia’s ongoing support for the separatists there, The White House informs. 

President Obama reiterated America’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. President Obama underscored the rising human toll of the fighting and underscored the importance of President Putin seizing the opportunity presented by the ongoing discussions between Russia, France, Germany, and Ukraine to reach a peaceful resolution.

The President emphasized the importance of reaching and implementing a negotiated settlement underpinned by the commitments in the Minsk agreement.

However, if Russia continues its actions in Ukraine, "including by sending troops, weapons, and financing to support the separatists, the costs for Russia will rise".