Putin meets Ukraine president-elect before D-Day lunch
BENOUVILLE - Agence France-Presse
German Chancellor Merkel (L), Ukrainian President-elect and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) speak following a group photo of world leaders attending the D-Day 70th Anniversary ceremonies in France. AP PhotoRussian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's president-elect Petro Poroshenko discussed a ceasefire and other possible steps to de-escalate the crisis between their countries in a brief but potentially significant meeting in France on Friday, French officials said.
The two leaders talked for a quarter of an hour in a meeting hosted by French President Francois Hollande before a lunch of world leaders at the D-Day anniversary ceremonies, they added.
Among the steps envisaged was a potential ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, where there have been clashes between government security forces and pro-Russian separatists.
It was the first meeting between the two men since pro-western chocolate tycoon Poroshenko won Ukraine's presidential election on May 25.
"The meeting lasted around a quarter of an hour before the lunch," an aide to Hollande said.
"They were able to begin a dialogue on possible de-escalation measures including Moscow recognising Porochenko's election," he added, underlining that Putin would be sending an ambassador to Kiev on Saturday.
"The practicalities of a ceasefire will also be discussed in the coming days."