Russian leader Putin says he's ready to meet with Obama despite differences over Ukraine

Associated Press + More

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says he's ready to meet with President Barack Obama in France despite sharp differences over Ukraine.

Putin spoke in an interview with French media and blamed the West for triggering the Ukrainian crisis. He said "dialogue is the best way to bridge any gaps."

World leaders excluded Russia from two-day Group of Seven meeting that began Wednesday in Brussels. It was originally slated to include Putin and take place in Sochi, Russia.

Putin spoke to French media ahead of his trip to France this week, where he will join world leaders commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy in World War II.

The leaders of Britain, France and Germany have scheduled meetings with Putin in the coming days — but not Obama.

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