BRUSSELS – Diplomatic efforts to resolve the months-long standoff between Ukraine and Russia are kicking into high gear in two European capitals.
After the leaders of the Group of Seven major economies kept the threat of further sanctions against Russia on the table, Thursday's action was moving from Brussels to Paris where at least two tete-a-tete meetings were planned between President Vladimir Putin and European leaders.
If President Barack Obamas didn't envisage such an encounter, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the eve of D-Day commemorations in Normandy.
European leaders hope this week will offer a chance for a diplomatic breakthrough. The meetings will take place during a dinner, lunch and a double dinner.