Connect with us

World

World leaders gather for D-Day tribute, hope for thaw on Ukraine

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

World leaders gather for D-Day tribute, hope for thaw on Ukraine
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: World leaders and veterans gather by the beaches of Normandy on Friday to mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied D-Day landings that helped turn the tables in World War Two, with host France hoping the event will bring a thaw in the Ukraine crisis.

Wreaths, parades, parachute-landings and fireworks will be staged in honour of history’s largest amphibian assault on June 6, 1944 when 160,000 U.S., British and Canadian troops waded ashore to confront Nazi Germany’s forces, hastening its defeat.

French President Francois Hollande will be joined at the commemorations by 17 leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama, Britain’s David Cameron, Canada’s Stephen Harper, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin of Russia.

But while the unity of allies and their bloody sacrifices will be the big theme of the D-Day remembrance, the government leaders will be sounding each other out in private on the worst security challenge in Europe since the Cold War: Ukraine.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March and the current standoff in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russian separatists have driven Russia’s relations with the United States and European Union to a post-Cold War low.

French diplomats say Hollande hopes to get Putin to at least shake the hand of Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko on the sidelines of the ceremonies, in what could represent a first step in defusing tensions.

Putin, who has said he is open to meeting both Obama and Poroshenko while in France, has yet to recognise the legitimacy of the Ukrainian leader who is set to be sworn in on Saturday.

At a Group of Seven (G7) summit of world leaders in Brussels on Thursday, Hollande called the D-Day tribute “an important occasion to express gratitude and fraternity.

SUMMIT SNUB

“But it is also a major international event which should serve the interests of peace,” Hollande added, evoking the diplomatic challenges under the surface of the ceremonies.

The G7 summit – to which Putin was not invited because of Western anger over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine – was intended “to speak with a single voice … above all on Ukraine,” Hollande said.

Obama told reporters on Thursday that Russia would face new sanctions if it fails to recognise Ukraine’s new government and does not try to calm violence from militants in the east of Russia’s fellow former Soviet neighbour.

“There is a path in which Russia has the capacity to engage directly with President Poroshenko now. He should take it,” Obama said. “If he does not – if he continues a strategy of undermining the sovereignty of Ukraine, then we have no choice but to respond.”

Further complicating the diplomatic meetings on Friday is U.S. opposition to a 1.2 billion euro ($1.63 billion) French contract to sell two Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia.

The U.S. government says the deal sends the wrong message to Russia at a time of economic sanctions imposed by Western states on Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine.

Putin’s relations with Ukraine as well as with the European Union and the United States have been tense since pro-Western protesters ousted a Moscow-friendly Ukrainian president from power in February and Russia then seized Crimea.

Obama and Hollande dined together in Paris on Thursday evening and discussed ways of easing the Ukraine crisis before Hollande held a second, separate dinner with Putin.

The separate meals showed the lengths to which French officials have gone to keep the estranged Obama and Putin apart in Paris, at U.S. request, before the D-Day commemorations.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand4 mins ago

Government says not to buy Favipiravir/Avigan online, says it might be fake

Phuket6 mins ago

Phuket bans alcohol sales at restaurants, issues order amid rise of Covid cases

Best of8 mins ago

Top 5 Mexican restaurants in Pattaya

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand51 mins ago

Good Morning Thailand | New restrictions, new Red Line train in Bangkok, Covid latest

Thailand52 mins ago

Ministry of Public Health says Pfizer vaccine will be allocated correctly, others disagree

Cambodia1 hour ago

Rollout of Covid-19 vaccination for teenagers gets underway in Cambodia

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Phuket2 hours ago

Man goes missing off Freedom Beach, Phuket

Phuket2 hours ago

Phuket tourism sector calls for island to be “green-listed” for foreign tourists – VIDEO

Best of2 hours ago

Phuket’s best day trips and tours

Business2 hours ago

What is so important about the Sandbox?

Tourism2 hours ago

Thailand’s foreign tourist numbers expected to plummet during 2021

Central Thailand3 hours ago

Nurse dies of Covid-19 a week after receiving first dose of Sinovac

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 18,901 new cases and 147 deaths

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Government says ongoing vaccination and obeying the rules will drive infections down

Insurgency15 hours ago

Suspected insurgent wanted for murder killed by forces in Pattani

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Phuket5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending