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Obama told Putin he must de-escalate Ukraine tensions: US official

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) arrives for a group photo past US President Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth at the D-Day 70th Anniversary ceremonies at Chateau de Benouville in Benouville, France, June 6, 2014Ouistreham (France) (AFP) – President Barack Obama personally told Vladimir Putin Friday he must de-escalate tensions in Ukraine or face deeper international isolation, a US official said. The warning came as the Russian and US presidents had a 15-minute informal encounter at a lunch for leaders attending D-Day 70th anniversary commemorations in Normandy, France. “President Obama underscored that the successful Ukrainian election provides an opportunity that should be taken,” said Ben Rhodes, a deputy US national security advisor. “President Obama made clear that de-escalation depends upon Russia recognising President-elect Poroshenko as the legitimate leader of Ukraine, ceasing support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, and stopping the provision of arms and materiel across the border.”

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