US President Barack Obama. Pic: AP.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed on the importance of upholding Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The White House says the two leaders spoke Sunday evening. The White House says Obama and Xi have a shared interest in finding a peaceful resolution to the dispute between Ukraine and Russia and reducing tensions in the region.

Russian military forces have taken control of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. Lawmakers there plan to hold a referendum Sunday on whether to become part of Russia.

China has frequently sided with Russia against the West. But Beijing also frequently argues on behalf of maintaining territorial sovereignty.