If looks could kill, Putin would be a dead duck
French President Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel brought together two men who hold the destiny of the world in the palm of their hands - Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's president elect Petro Poroshenko.
The French have been plotting for weeks to get these two men together at the D-Day 70th Anniversary and it worked. After speaking to Poroshenko, Putin called for an immediate cease-fire in eastern Ukraine before any further talks and said he expected Poroshenko to show "state wisdom" and "goodwill." Poroshenko said talks would begin in earnest on his first full day in office.
"All the questions were difficult" Poroshenko said before he left for Ukraine, "but we will make every effort to achieve the goals we have set ourselves and begin negotiations on Sunday."
Putin said he welcomes Poroshenko's call for an end to the bloodshed and liked his approach to settling the crisis but wanted to wait until he could deliver it in detail to the nation. "If it continues like that, then conditions will be created for developing our relations in other areas, including the economy" he said.
Putin also said that he is ready to lower the gas price for Ukraine if it pays off its debt for previous supplies. Hopefully, this could mean that the threat of a gas shutdown to Europe which depends on gas pipelines that cross Ukraine, has now eased.
Surely Putin must have been furious and embarrassed when the west ganged up on him and froze him out of the G7 talks held in Brussels on Thursday and his behavour at the D-Day Anniversary has to be commended and says a lot about the man.
Putin is also sending Russia's recalled diplomat back to Ukraine for Poroshenko's inauguration which could be Moscow's way of officially recognizing Ukraine's election.