Updated: 03/10/2014 20:51 | By Agence France-Presse

Obama, Chinese president discuss Ukraine crisis

US President Barack Obama spoke late Sunday with Chinese President Xi Jinping about ways to peacefully resolve a tense crisis over control of Ukraine's Crimea region, the White House said.

Obama, Chinese president discuss Ukraine crisis

A sailor guards a Russian navy ship in the Bay of Sevastopol, in Ukraine's Crimea region, on March 9, 2014 - by Viktor Drachev

"They affirmed their shared interest in reducing tensions and identifying a peaceful resolution to the dispute between Russia and Ukraine," the White House said in a statement released on Monday. 

"The two leaders agreed on the importance of upholding principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, both in the context of Ukraine and also for the broader functioning of the international system," the White House said.

"The president noted his overriding objective of restoring Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and ensuring the Ukrainian people are able to determine their own future without foreign interference."

Obama and Xi's discussion of the Crimea standoff came just days ahead of a planned meeting in Washington Wednesday between the US leader and Ukraine's interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

The escalating standoff, the most explosive East-West crisis since the Cold War, led Obama to announce travel bans and an asset freeze on Russia officials held responsible for endangering the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

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