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Putin to attend D-Day anniversary

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By The Associated Press
Thursday, May 8, 2014, 8:18 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Complicating the West's efforts to isolate Russia, the Kremlin announced on Thursday that Vladimir Putin will join President Obama and European leaders in France next month for a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion that hastened the end of World War II.

The June 6 commemoration would mark the first time Putin and Western leaders have come face-to-face since the outbreak of the crisis in Ukraine. The United States and Europe have condemned Russia's provocations, ordering sanctions on Putin's inner circle and cutting Russia's ties to some international organizations.

Still, leaders from Germany and France publicly welcomed Putin's decision to attend the observance at Normandy, raising questions about the effectiveness of recent efforts to ostracize the Russian president over Ukraine. And while the White House said Obama would not meet one-on-one with Putin, U.S. officials did not appear to be seeking to stop him from attending.

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