Alexander Zemlianichenko, Associated Press
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives to take a part in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside Moscow's Kremlin Wall, in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, June 22, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged both sides in the Ukrainian conflict to sit down at the negotiating table and find a compromise.

DONETSK, Ukraine — The Kremlin says President Vladimir Putin has spoken over the phone with President Barack Obama, urging direct talks between warring parties in Ukraine.

The Kremlin said Putin underlined in Monday's conversation that in order to normalize the situation in eastern Ukraine it's necessary to "effectively end fighting and start direct talks between the conflicting parties."

Putin has welcomed Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's declaration of a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, but added it can only be viable if the Ukrainian government sits down for talks with insurgents, who have declared their border regions independent and fought government troops for two months.