Putin to be notable absentee at Ukraine crisis talks in Berlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) chairs a session of the State Council's Presidium in the Crimean city of Yalta on August 17, 2015The heads of Germany and France will meet Kiev’s pro-Western leader in Berlin on Monday for Ukrainian crisis talks most notable for their diplomatically-charged exclusion of Russia’s Vladimir Putin. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande have put enormous political onus on resolving Ukraine’s 16-month pro-Russian uprising and returning peace to the European Union’s turbulent eastern front.

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