Russia's Vladimir Putin has telephoned US President Barack Obama to discuss a possible diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine.
They considered a US plan for a halt to Russia's military build-up up on the border with Ukraine, a troop withdrawal in Crimea, and moves to protect the Russian speakers in the region, the BBC reports.
Mr Putin stressed the threat posed by "extremists" in Kiev, the Kremlin said.
Russia's annexation of Crimea has sparked international condemnation.
In the hour-long phone call, the US president urged Mr Putin to avoid the build-up of forces on the Russian border.
"President Obama underscored to President Putin that the United States continues to support a diplomatic path... with the aim of de-escalation of the crisis," the White House said in a statement.
The two leaders agreed that their foreign ministers would meet soon to discuss the next steps.
The US proposal, developed in consultation with Ukraine and other European countries, includes the deployment of international monitors in Crimea to protect the rights of Russian speakers, and the return of Russian troops there to their bases.