France Throws 2 Dinners to Separate Testy Obama, Putin

Hollande avoiding an awkward moment
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2014 1:33 AM CDT
France Throws 2 Dinners to Separate Testy Obama, Putin
In this Sept. 5, 2013 file photo, President Obama shakes hands with Vladimir Putin during arrivals for the G-20 summit at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

International tensions are resulting in a very full stomach for French President Francois Hollande. During a commemoration of D-Day, he'll have two separate dinners Thursday night: one with President Obama, and one with Vladimir Putin, the AP reports. The two leaders are among at least 18 visiting in honor of the 70th anniversary of the landings; amid tensions over Ukraine, the US and Russian presidents won't be dining together.

Hollande will eat with Obama first, then Putin, insiders say. One dinner might even be held away from the presidential palace, making an accidental meeting even less likely. Ukraine President-elect Petro Poroshenko will also be attending the ceremonies. Despite Western frustrations with Moscow, "I will never forget that the Russian people gave millions of lives" in World War II, Hollande has said. (More France stories.)

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