June 6 - The leaders of Russia and Ukraine hold first talks Friday since Moscow annexed Crimea, discussing ways to end their conflict in a brief encounter. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
French President Francois Hollande welcomes Russian President Vladimir Putin to France a day ahead of ceremonies to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day. As world leaders gather on the shores of Normandy on the 6th -- the unity of allies and their bloody sacrifices are the central theme. But in private, leaders' talk focused on the most serious security crisis in Europe for more than two decades: Ukraine. German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Putin on the sidelines of D-Day celebrations. The meeting comes as Merkel wrote in a guest article for a French newspaper that the Ukraine crisis was a reminder of how quickly peace and freedom could be destroyed. Merkel helped orchestrate a meeting with Putin and Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko. Hollande's office says the two men agreed to detailed talks on a ceasefire between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine that would begin within days. They also discussed Russian recognition of Poroshenko's election as well as economic relations. U.S. President Barack Obama also held brief talks with Putin. A White House official called it a "informal" meeting, saying it had lasted 10-15 minutes. On Thursday, Russia announced it would send its ambassador to also inauguration on Saturday. The challenges ahead come against the backdrop of remembering the sacrifice of allied forces some 70 years ago.