Connect with us

World

Ukraine crisis; Putin, Poroshenko break ice at D-Day event

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

image
image

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Ukraine crisis; Putin, Poroshenko break ice at D-Day event
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The leaders of Russia and Ukraine held their first talks on Friday since Moscow annexed Crimea, discussing ways to end their four-month conflict in a brief encounter during commemorations in France of the World War Two D-Day landings.

French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel brought together Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko for a 15-minute meeting before they joined other dignitaries for lunch.

The meeting was the culmination of weeks of secret diplomacy by French officials to try to break the ice in the most serious European security crisis since the end of the Cold War.

Putin later had an equally short “informal” talk with U.S. President Barack Obama, the White House said.

Hollande’s office said Putin and Poroshenko shook hands and agreed that detailed talks on a ceacefire between Kiev government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine would begin within a few days.

They also discussed steps such as Russian recognition of Poroshenko’s election as well as economic relations.

Poroshenko was photographed looking unsmiling and earnest as he stood with Putin and Merkel.

“It was a normal, serious exchange between two leaders,” an official in Hollande’s office said.

“This marks tentative progress which he (Hollande) welcomes, particularly given this occasion so symbolic for peace.”

In Moscow, a Kremlin spokesman said the two leaders urged a “speedy end to the bloodshed in southeastern Ukraine as well as to fighting on both sides”.

“It was confirmed that there is no other alternative to resolve the situation than through peaceful political means,” the spokesman said.

Hollande had invited Poroshenko to Normandy as his personal guest at the last minute in an effort to break the ice between Moscow and Kiev even as fighting continues in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russian separatists.

A White House official said Putin and Obama, who had avoided contact with the Russian leader while the two were in Paris on Thursday – also spoke to each other before the lunch.

“It was an informal conversation – not a formal bilateral meeting,” White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said by email, adding the encounter lasted 10-15 minutes.

DEMOCRACY’S BEACHHEAD

World leaders and veterans paid tribute to soldiers who fell in the liberation of Europe from Nazi German rule, at a series of ceremonies around the Normandy beaches where allied forces landed 70 years ago on June 6, 1944.

Wreaths, parades and parachute-drops honoured history’s largest amphibious assault, in which 160,000 U.S., British and Canadian troops waded ashore to confront German forces, hastening its defeat and the advent of peace in Europe.

Flanked by stooped war veterans, some in wheelchairs, Obama earlier joined Hollande to commemorate victory and reaffirm U.S-French solidarity before the 9,387 white marble headstones of fallen U.S. soldiers at the Normandy American Cemetery.

It will be the last major commemoration for most of the veterans, most of whom are in their late 80s and 90s.

Obama said the 50-mile (80 km) stretch of Normandy coastline – where allied soldiers landed under fire on beaches codenamed Omaha, Utah, Gold, Sword and Juno – was a “tiny sliver of sand upon which hung more than the fate of a war, but rather the course of human history.”

“Omaha – Normandy – this was democracy’s beachhead,” said Obama. “And our victory in that war decided not just a century, but shaped the security and well-being of all posterity.”

The president sought to link the sacrifices of World War Two to U.S. servicemen killed in combat since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States by al Qaeda Islamist militants.

The “9/11 generation of service members” understood that “people cannot live in freedom unless free people are prepared to die for it”, he said.

Hollande declared that France “would never forget the solidarity between our two nations, solidarity based on a shared ideal, an aspiration, a passion for freedom”.

Twenty-one foreign leaders attended the commemorations, including Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister David Cameron, Canada’s Stephen Harper as well as Merkel and Putin, whose country suffered the heaviest casualties and struck decisive blows on the eastern front to defeat the Nazis.

But while the unity of allies and their bloody sacrifices were the central theme of D-Day remembrance, private talks among government leaders focussed on the most serious security crisis in Europe for more than two decades: Ukraine.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March and the standoff in eastern Ukraine have plunged Moscow’s relations with the United States and European Union to a post-Cold War low.

Fighting continued in eastern Ukraine as Ukrainian forces fended off an attack by pro-Russian separatists on a border post there late on Thursday. The attack was repelled by air strikes but the insurgency has escalated in the past two weeks, killing scores and prompting some families to flee.

Russia announced on Thursday it was sending its ambassador to Poroshenko’s inauguration on Saturday.

A Group of Seven (G7) summit of industrialised nations in Brussels on Thursday, from which Putin was excluded, urged Russia to work with Kiev’s new authorities to restore stability in eastern Ukraine or face possible tougher sanctions.

On Thursday, Obama told reporters the West would “have no choice to respond” with new sanctions if Russia failed to recognise Ukraine’s new government and work to calm pro-Russian gunmen in its former Soviet neighbour.

“There is a path in which Russia has the capacity to engage directly with President Poroshenko now. He should take it.”

Behind the facade of G7 unity, differences emerged over a 1.2 billion euro (974 million pounds) French contract to sell two Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia. Obama said Paris should have pressed “the pause button” on the deal but Foreign Minister Fabius said the contracts would be honoured.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World12 hours ago

Foreign Ministers of China and Malaysia agree over South China Sea

Bangkok13 hours ago

Burmese woman rescued by DSI after 13 years of forced labor

Protests14 hours ago

Burmese soldiers drive car into protesters killing 5, injuring dozens

advertiseadvertise
Chon Buri15 hours ago

4 Bang Saen restaurants busted selling alcohol outside Chon Buri Blue Zone

Politics17 hours ago

Woman who told PM Prayut to “retire quickly” claims police visited her

Transport18 hours ago

Boeing’s Max 737 returns to Chinese skies

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

COVID-19 SUNDAY: 4,704 infections, 27 deaths, provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)19 hours ago

Omicron variant and surging Covid-19 affect European nations

Coronavirus (Covid-19)20 hours ago

Australia, Asia, and Africa deal with the Covid-19 Omicron variant

Thailand20 hours ago

HM The King returns to Thailand for Father’s Day commemorations

Coronavirus (Covid-19)22 hours ago

Omicron spreads to 38 countries, 10 US states; Remdesivir recalled

Transport23 hours ago

Hua Lamphong “won’t be torn down” | VIDEO

North East23 hours ago

Penis park in Khon Kaen is urging visitors to hug a member

Food24 hours ago

Vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Bangkok | VIDEO

Tourism1 day ago

Maya Bay on hold, but preparations for an eventual reopening continue | VIDEOS

Coronavirus World5 days ago

Health officials say Omicron probably in the Netherlands prior to South Africa reports

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 days ago

PM will decide on need for lockdown if and when Omicron found in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 days ago

UPDATE: What we know about “Omicron,” new travel restrictions to Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says PCR tests will remain a requirement for foreign arrivals

Thailand7 days ago

Thailand News Today | Quarantine requirements in Thailand relaxed, Vocal expat deported | Nov 29

Tourism6 days ago

No plans to reverse re-opening, despite Omicron variant – Tourism Ministry

Road deaths7 days ago

Thai man dies by flurry of bullets while going to get 2nd Covid shot

Drugs5 days ago

Men arrested at Bangkok airport for allegedly smuggling drugs valued at 95 million baht

Thailand5 days ago

Possible lockdown, Crypto in Thailand, Transit system improvements | Good Morning Thailand | Ep.143

Visa3 days ago

10-year long term visa scheme takes a step forward, measures approved by PM

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Thailand entry restrictions on African countries in response to Omicron

Bangkok6 days ago

Foreigner claims Bangkok taxi pocketed 1,000 baht for ride down Sukhumvit

Tourism5 days ago

Cha-am permitted to sell alcohol in restaurants from December 1

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 days ago

Omicron Covid-19 variant isn’t in Thailand, DDC director says

Expats4 days ago

Bangkok is 4th best place to live in Southeast Asia, according to expat survey

Thailand3 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism10 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism10 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending