Paris: British Prime Minister David Cameron told Vladimir Putin to end Moscow`s military meddling in Ukraine as he became the first western leader to meet the Russian President since Moscow`s annexation of Crimea.
Putin, who has been cold-shouldered by the United States and its allies since the March seizure of the peninsula, met Cameron in Paris on Thursday ahead of talks later with French President Francois Hollande.
The Russian leader`s return to the international centre stage, ahead of Friday`s D-Day anniversary ceremony in Normandy, came on a day when Ukraine`s government admitted it had lost control of part of its eastern border to pro-Russian separatists that the West suspects are being actively backed by Moscow.
Cameron arrived for his meeting with Putin directly from a Brussels meeting of G7 leaders which issued a warning that Russia faced further sanctions if it does not stop what they see as efforts to destabilise its southern neighbour.
"This was a meeting with a very clear and firm set of messages, which is that there is an opportunity for a successful, peaceful and stable Ukraine especially now there`s been a presidential election," Cameron told the BBC.
"But the status quo, the situation today, is not acceptable and it needs to change."
"Russia needs to properly recognise and work with this new president. We need de-escalation. We need to stop arms and people crossing the border. We need action on these fronts but if that happens there is a diplomatic path that is open to have proper relations between Ukraine and Russia and a successful future for the people of Ukraine, which is what they deserve."
Putin will also meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday before the D-Day ceremony. No formal meeting is scheduled with Barack Obama but the US president signalled in Brussels that he was likely to have some kind of exchange with his Russian counterpart.
"I have no doubt that I`ll see Mr Putin," Obama said. "Should we have the opportunity to talk, I`ll deliver the same message as I have throughout this crisis.
"If Russia`s provocations continue, it`s clear from our discussions here the G7 nations are ready to impose additional costs."