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On A Day Of Looking Back, Talks Move Forward On Ukraine

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. At a luncheon in Benouville, France today, President Obama and Russian's Vladimir Putin were at the same table. But they sat far apart. It was a gathering of world leaders to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Reporters watched as Putin and Obama seems to avoid one another, wondering if the two men would talk.

SIEGEL: They did end up having a private conversation. It lasted about 15 minutes. Though informal, it was their first face to face meeting, since the crisis in Ukraine began. The White House says, Obama told the Russian leader to stop supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine and to cease sending arms and material over the border. And Obama also told Putin that the election of a new president in Ukraine is an opportunity to ease tensions.

CORNISH: Putin met with the president-elect, Petro Poroshenko, at the luncheon, too. He'll be inaugurated tomorrow. He and Putin reportedly discussed a possible cease-fire in eastern Ukraine. Yesterday, President Obama warned Putin in a news conference that Russia would face more sanctions, if steps aren't taken to help stabilize Ukraine. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Robert Siegel
Prior to his retirement, Robert Siegel was the senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel hosted the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reported on stories and happenings all over the globe, and reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. He signed off in his final broadcast of All Things Considered on January 5, 2018.
Audie Cornish
Over two decades of journalism, Audie Cornish has become a recognized and trusted voice on the airwaves as co-host of NPR's flagship news program, All Things Considered.