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June 08, 2014 AT 5:19 AM
Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke face-to-face with Ukraine's incoming president about ending the violence in the former Soviet state, and Kiev's new leader said talks could begin in earnest as soon as Sunday — a diplomatic breakthrough playing out along the battlefield beaches of Normandy. Friday's 15-minute meeting was followed by a brief exchange between Putin and President Barack Obama, who had been keeping the Russian at arm's length over the Ukrainian crisis. Tensions between the two were played out on giant televisions on Ouistreham's Sword Beach, with Putin and Obama shown divided by a split screens as they commemorated the 70th anniversary of D-Day.