Merkel, Obama urge Moscow to obtain separatist ceasefire

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama on Thursday urged President Vladimir Putin to obtain a ceasefire from pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine, Merkel's office said.

Merkel and Obama spoke by telephone and stressed "the importance of a rapid ceasefire observed by both sides" and said that "Russia must first contribute by ensuring that the separatists in eastern Ukraine uphold the ceasefire," said a statement.