January 31, 2015 14:33 UTC

As It Is

Putin and Obama Meet Briefly on D-Day

U.S. President Barack Obama, front left, and French President Francois Hollande, front center, stand with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, second left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, front right, and other leaders, for a group photo in the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Benouville in Normandy, France, Friday, June 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
U.S. President Barack Obama, front left, and French President Francois Hollande, front center, stand with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, second left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, front right, and other leaders, for a group photo in the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Benouville in Normandy, France, Friday, June 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

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U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin met briefly Friday in Normandy, France. A White House official confirmed the two met for about 15 minutes after a luncheon of world leaders.

 

Mr. Obama reportedly told Mr. Putin that he believed the Russian leader had the power to lessen the fighting in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russian separatists.

 

The official also said if Russia works with the Ukrainian government of president-elect Petro Poroshenko there could be possibilities to reduce tensions. Mr. Poroshenko is to take office Saturday.

 

Earlier Friday, Mr. Putin and Mr. Poroshenko met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The three leaders spoke as they walked into a building in Normandy, where world leaders ate lunch.

 

Russian news agencies reported a spokesman for Mr. Putin said the two leaders called for a quick end to the fighting in southeastern Ukraine and to the military actions of both sides.

 

Western officials had been hopeful that informal contacts between Mr. Putin and Mr. Poroshenko could help reduce tensions over Ukraine. Earlier this year, Russia seized the Crimea area and made it a part of Russia. The action came after the ouster of a pro-Russian president in Kyiv in February.

 

Many of the world leaders gathered in Normandy are urging Russia to end its support for the pro-Russian separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine.

 

On Thursday, Mr. Obama urged Russia to negotiate directly with the newly-elected Ukrainian government. And he called on Mr. Putin to stop armed Russian militias from crossing the border into Ukraine.

 

At a G7 meeting in Brussels Thursday, Western leaders warned that more economic penalties could be placed on Russia within weeks if it does not reduce its support for the rebels. The United States and Britain have led western nations in supporting economic penalties on Russian businesses and close aides to Mr. Putin. But they have so far not supported stronger penalties on important parts of the Russian economy.

 

France and Germany have strong energy and trade relations with Russia. They have not been as strong in their public criticisms.

 

The meeting in Brussels was to have been a G8 meeting and was to have been held in the Russian Black Sea town of Sochi. But after Mr. Putin made Crimea a part of Russia, Western powers moved the meeting to Brussels, and it became a G7 meeting.

 

I’m Christopher Cruise

 

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: okan from: turkey
06/09/2014 7:48 AM
ı think that Russia will not stop unless USA take control the energy sources and routes in euroasia. because relationship on trade and energy between europe and russia hog-tie both of USA and europe

In Response

by: Andrii from: Kharkiv, Ukraine
06/10/2014 4:32 AM
Yes, For Putin it is difficult to step back as 83% of Russian population support his decision to invade Ukrainian territory and 51% is ready to arrive in Ukraine to kill Ukrainians only for that reason that they speak Ukrainian language and don't wil to be converted itmo Russians.


by: Andrii from: Kharkiv, Ukraine
06/08/2014 12:11 PM
Despite the threatening by western leaders to imply on Russia stronger penalties Russia don't pay attention on them and every night hundreds of heavy armed militants cross the boarder of Ukraine and more and more Russian armed forces accumulated in Ukraine. It is interesting how many killed people needed for western countries to take actions against Russia to enforce it to stop support terrorist in eastern Ukraine?


by: Andrii from: Kharkiv, Ukraine
06/07/2014 7:26 PM
Though western officials had been hopeful that informal contacts between Mr. Putin and Mr. Poroshenko could help reduce tensions over Ukraine, every day hundreds of militants from Russia with newest weapons cross the Ukrainian border and their number are growing. How long and to what extent their number should be to be considered as invasion of Russia or in simple words the war will be openly announced?


by: Alex from: Sankt-Peterburg
06/07/2014 6:51 PM
I think that Putin can't influence on separatists. He needs a peaceful Ukraine for gas transit in Europe. To call separatists pro-Russians as the same as to call the rebels of Somali pro-American. They are Ukrainians.


by: Shinji from: Japan
06/06/2014 11:40 PM
I hope that the tensions in Ukraine will become calm as soon a possible.

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