Washington, July 18: US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday talked about the reports of a downed Malaysian passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border, the White House said.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that Obama and Putin spoke at Moscow’s request about the new sanctions against Russia and near the end of the call, the leaders noted the early reports about the plane crash in Ukraine, Xinhua reported.

Earnest said Obama had instructed his staff to keep him updated and to contact senior Ukrainian officials about the incident. However, the spokesman said he was “not in a position to confirm” the plane crash.