MOSCOW, June 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart, Francois Hollande, will discuss Ukraine’s punitive operation in the southeast during their June 5 meeting in Paris.
“The international agenda of the Putin-Hollande meeting will include a substantial debate on the Ukraine crisis, such as the need to stop the Kiev regime’s punitive operation in the country’s southeast, as well as the May 25 presidential election in Ukraine,” the official statement said.
According to the Kremlin, Russia’s cooperation with the European Union and the NATO military bloc will also be on the table during the meeting of Russian and French leaders. They will discuss the situation in Syria in the wake of the recent presidential election and the victory of President Bashar Assad, as well as the turmoil in Libya and Iran’s nuclear program.
Putin’s trip to France ahead of the D-Day commemorations will be first visit of the Russian president to Western Europe since the outbreak of the Ukrainian conflict. France invited Putin to take part in the event several months ago and confirmed the invitation despite the disagreements on Ukraine.
In mid-April, Kiev authorities started a special military operation in the east of Ukraine to suppress pro-independence protests, with most clashes breaking out in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Petro Poroshenko, who won snap May 25 presidential election, urged the law enforcement agencies to complete "purge" Donetsk and Luhansk regions before his inauguration on June 7.
Moscow has repeatedly urged Kiev to stop its so-called "anti-terror" operation, which has already killed dozens of civilians.