Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s newly elected leader Petro Poroshenko have held face-to-face talks for the first time since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in March.
French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are reported to have brought the two leaders together for the brief meeting.
“We sat down at the table and talked for some 15 minutes. I can’t say it was a detailed conversation but nevertheless we touched on the main issues related to the current situation and to the development of our economic ties. I support the position of Mr. Poroshenko that the bloodshed must stop immediately in the east of Ukraine. He has a plan of how to do that but you’d better ask him about that.”
Putin then had an equally short meeting with US President Barack Obama. According to a White House official, Obama urged him to recognise Poroshenko as Ukraine’s leader and to end the supply of arms to pro-Russian separatists.
French officials have reportedly been plotting to use the D-Day anniversary to ease growing tensions over the crisis in Ukraine.
The office of Francois Hollande has said talks on a ceasefire between Kyiv and pro-Russian separatists could begin within days.