News / Europe

    Putin Meets Obama, Poroshenko on D-Day Event Sidelines

    Ukraine's President-elect Petro Poroshenko, left, walks past Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 70th anniversary commemoration of D-Day in Ouistreham, western France, June 6, 2014.
    Ukraine's President-elect Petro Poroshenko, left, walks past Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 70th anniversary commemoration of D-Day in Ouistreham, western France, June 6, 2014.
    VOA News
    U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin held brief talks on the sidelines of D-Day anniversary celebrations in Normandy, France, on Friday.

    A White House official confirmed the two met for about 15 minutes after a luncheon for world leaders at the Chateau de Benouville.

    Obama made clear to Putin that de-escalating the crisis in Ukraine depends upon Moscow recognizing President-elect Petro Poroshenko - scheduled to take office Saturday - as the country's legitimate leader, ceasing support for pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine, and stopping the provision of arms and materiel across the border, a White House representative said.

    Obama urged Putin to immediately collaborate with the Kyiv government to reduce tensions, warning that failure to do so would deepen Russia's isolation, the representative said.

    Earlier in the day, Putin and Poroshenko met informally with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They talked informally as they walked into the chateau.

    French officials were quoted as saying Putin and Poroshenko discussed a possible ceasefire between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists.

    Russian news agencies quoted Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, as saying that during their conversation, both leaders called for "a speedy end to to the bloodshed in southeastern Ukraine and to the military actions of both sides - the Ukrainian armed forces and the supporters of the federalization of Ukraine."
     
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko, center, talk after a group photo, June 6, 2014.German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko, center, talk after a group photo, June 6, 2014.
    x
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko, center, talk after a group photo, June 6, 2014.
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko, center, talk after a group photo, June 6, 2014.
    French President Francois Hollande had personally invited Putin to the D-Day commemoration, in recognition of at least 20 million Soviets killed during World War II. Reuters, on Twitter, reported Hollande's office as saying Putin and Poroshenko shook hands.

    Western officials had expressed hope that informal contacts between Putin and Poroshenko during the one-day event can help ease tensions over Ukraine's future, after Russia seized and annexed the Crimea region following the ouster of a pro-Russian president in Kyiv in February.

    A day earlier, he met British Prime Minister David Cameron and Hollande to discuss Moscow's role in the unrest.

    The commemorations in Normandy have brought together world leaders, many of whom are urging Moscow to stop its support for the ongoing pro-Russian separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine.

    Violence continued in the region Friday. Ukraine's Interior Ministry reported that separatists in the city of Slavyonsk fired a mortar at checkpoints set up by security forces, killing a member of the ministry's special forces and seriously wounding two others.

    Also Friday, separatists claimed they shot down a manned reconnaissance plane over Slovyansk. Several videos purporting to show the downing of the aircraft were posted to the Internet.

    Dialogue encouraged

    On Thursday, Obama had urged Russia to negotiate directly with the newly elected Ukraine government, and he called on Putin to stop the cross-border flow of armed Russian militias into Ukraine.

    At a G7 meeting in Brussels earlier that day, leaders warned that more economic sanctions could come within weeks if the Kremlin fails to curb its support for the rebels.

    The United States and Britain have been the leading proponents of sanctions on Russian businesses and individuals in Putin's inner circle - but both countries have so far stopped short of harsher penalties on key Russian economic sectors.

    France and Germany, which maintain strong energy and trade ties with Russia, have been less aggressive in their public statements.

    The Brussels summit was originally scheduled as a G8 in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi. But after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in March, Western powers rejected Putin's invitation and moved the summit to Brussels.

    VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez contributed to this report. Some information  was provided by Reuters.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: TALL EAGLE from: Seattle, WA
    June 07, 2014 1:52 AM
    If you would like to know who the aggressors are... compare the number of US military bases around the world w. those of China and/or Russia...!!!

    by: N W B from: UK
    June 06, 2014 11:18 PM
    USA has lost credibility on world stage after it let Syrian people down in 2011 which resulted of killing more than 150000 dead and fleeing mora than half of population to neighbouring countries in despair conditions. Therefore Russia took opportunity to seize control part of Ukraine and will not hesitate to do it again, Russia signed a deal to sell gas to China for billions which lasts decades. Now Russia more powerful than ever while USA is kneeling down on all international affairs as someone who has cancer.

    by: Donald Fraser Miles from: Elliot Lake, Canada
    June 06, 2014 6:18 PM
    I believe the Ukraine crisis is over. Mopping up the conflict should take little time as separatist and Ukrainian forces disentangle. Putin is amenable to this disentanglement. The D-Day ceremony, the commemoration of sacrifice but eventual victory over Nazism, has created a golden opportunity for peace.
    In Response

    by: S H from: USA
    June 06, 2014 8:31 PM
    Except The Crimea.

    The Russian oligarchy has spoilt so little of its vast resources that it will far outlast anything that is not empirical invasion.

    I'm not suggesting invading, but rather that the Russians have far more resource potential than America. Just sitting there, while we put everything into Now.

    Knowing this, the Russians took some warm water port infrastructure, and a powerful capitalist now sits in Kyiv, and even has a tenable relationship with Moscow.

    Russia will observe and refine it's position with each passing day.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.