Ukraine crisis: Putin and Poroshenko vow to end bloodshed in symbolic D-Day meeting

The two leaders discussed a peaceful end to hostilities during memorials in France

Vladimir Putin has signalled co-operation between Russia and Ukraine’s new government to “end the bloodshed” in the country after a symbolic meeting during D-Day memorials.

The Russian President met Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian president-elect, in France during commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings.

They had attended memorials for the thousands killed in Europe’s bloodiest war on the poignant day.

A spokesman from the Kremlin said the two leaders called for the “soonest end to bloodshed in southeastern Ukraine and combat by both parties, the Ukrainian armed forces and supporters of the federalisation of Ukraine,” in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

Mr Putin and Mr Poroshenko discussed how Russia could recognize the Ukrainian elections, and a possible cease-fire, said an official at French President Francois Hollande's office.

The French official said their 15-minute discussion “included ways to de-escalate, including the manner in which Moscow could recognise Poroshenko's election, realising that Putin is sending an ambassador to Kiev tomorrow”.

Dmitry Peskov, the Russian President’s spokesman, said the two men ”confirmed that there is no alternative to settling the situation by peaceful political means”.

Heavy casualties have been sustained by both Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia rebels in fierce fighting around Slovyansk and Donetsk, with civilians caught in the crossfire.

In recent weeks, Ukrainian officials say more than 200 people have died but the figure cannot be independently confirmed.

Soviet-era divides between Ukrainians wanting closer ties to Europe and those calling for regional autonomy and close affiliation with Russia have exploded into violence after the outing of President Viktor Yanukovych.

Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula drew international condemnation and froze diplomatic relations with the West near Cold War levels but a thaw seemed to be signalled on Friday.

Outside the building where world leaders met for lunch, reporters saw German Chancellor Angela Merkel joining conversation with Mr Putin and Mr Poroshenko and she was reportedly seen “shuttling back and forth” between the two leaders during a memorial at Sword Beach.

She is said to have talked frequently with Mr Putin since the Ukraine crisis started and had a visit from Mr Poroshenko in Berlin on Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stands at right as U.S. President Barack Obama, left, and New Zealand's Governor-General Jerry Mateparae guide Britain's Queen Elizabeth II to her position for a group photo, with French President Francois Hollande, in the background, talking with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as they take part in commemorations for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, in Benouville in Normandy, France, Friday, June 6, 2014 Vladimir Putin stands at right as President Barack Obama, left, and New Zealand's Governor-General Jerry Mateparae guide Queen Elizabeth II to her position for a group photo for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings Known as the “Chocolate King”, the billionaire is to be sworn in as Ukraine's next President on Saturday and has promised a comprehensive plan to put an end to hostilities as soon as he assumes office.

Mr Putin held his first face-to-face meetings with Western leaders in France this week since the start of the Ukrainian crisis and has even met informally with Barack Obama.

Moscow was warned it could face new sanctions within weeks if it fails to co-operate with plans to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine by recognising the legitimacy of the new Ukrainian government and ending any support for the insurgency in eastern cities that is widely believed to be backed by the Kremlin.

Additional reporting by AP

Read more: Queen joins D-Day ceremony
Putin appears isolated in Normandy
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own