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September 26, 2017

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Russian, Ukrainian leaders meet at Normandy D-Day commemoration

OUISTREHAM, France--Ukraine's incoming president spoke briefly with Russian President Vladimir Putin after world leaders gathered for a photo Friday at D-Day commemoration ceremonies.

President-elect Petro Poroshenko, Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel lingered a while and chatted in a threesome.

Reporters observing the encounter couldn't hear any of the animated conversation, which lasted about a minute.

No plans have been announced for a longer, formal meeting.

Deadly violence in eastern Ukraine was in many minds at the gathering in France, and a possible contact between Putin and Poroshenko was eagerly anticipated.

In recent weeks, Ukrainian officials say more than 200 people have died — a figure which can't be independently confirmed — in fighting between Ukrainian government troops and pro-Russian rebels.

Candy magnate Poroshenko, who is to be sworn in as Ukraine's next president on Saturday, has promised a comprehensive plan to put an end to the hostilities in the east as soon as he assumes office.

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