US President Barack Obama on Friday said Russia's troop buildup on the Ukraine border was out of the ordinary and called on Moscow to pull its military back and begin talks to defuse tensions.

"You've seen a range of troops massing along that border under the guise of military exercises," he said on CBS "This Morning" in Vatican City. "But these are not what Russia would normally be doing."

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"You would have thought that after a couple of decades that there'd be an awareness on the part of any Russian leader that the path forward is not to revert back to the kinds of practices that you know, were so prevalent during the Cold War," said Obama.

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