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Putin, Hollande Discuss Ukraine On Sidelines Of Yerevan Ceremonies

French President Francois Hollande (left) with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a bilateral meeting in Yerevan on April 24

Russian President Vladimir Putin has met with his French counterpart, Francois Hollande, on the sidelines of ceremonies in Yerevan commemorating the 100th anniversary of the massacre of up to 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.

The talks between Putin and Hollande centered on the conflict in Ukraine as well as France's frozen $1.3 billion deal to sell two Mistral-class warships to Russia.

Interfax quotes Hollande as saying the best way to restore Russian-European relations is by implementing the Minsk agreements -- a reference to the European-brokered cease-fire agreement between Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels in February.

Earlier this week, Hollande said France would refund Russian payments for the Mistral warships if they are not delivered because of Moscow's involvement in Ukraine's conflict.

France postponed delivery of the first warship to Moscow last year in response to Russia's illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and the Kremlin's support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Based on reporting by AFP, TASS, and Interfax