Ukrainian President Poroshenko and his Russian counterpart reluctantly shook hands before sitting together with Germany’s Merkel and France’s Hollande to broker a deal on Ukraine in Minsk, Belarus, on Wednesday.
Since the fight began 10 months ago in east Ukraine, more than 5,400 people have died according to the United Nations. Ukraine blames Russia for the conflict after annexing the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea last March.
All the while, Putin continues to deny arming pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine or sending in Russian troops.
Western leaders have demanded the withdrawal of all Russian forces from Ukraine as well as respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territory.
Germany’s Merkel makes the introduction after Putin arrives and speaks briefly with Hollande and the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
And it seems clear that Putin is enjoying the awkward atmosphere created by Russia’s aggression.
Here is a video of the full interaction:
All things considered, Putin is looking comfortable as Poroshenko has to watch his own back:
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