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Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discuss rise in violence in eastern Ukraine

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany have discussed the recent rise in violence in eastern Ukraine from increased attacks by combined Russian-separatist forces.

The White House says they spoke by phone Wednesday. During the call, Obama noted Ukraine's progress in implementing its obligations under a peace plan and reiterated that Russia must do the same.

Obama also praised Merkel for working to address the migration crisis in Europe, including her recent decision to ease the burden on border countries by providing a haven to Syrian refugees.

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