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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, Saturday, April 27, 2019. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking the the media after the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, Saturday, April 27, 2019. Putin said Belt and Road fits with Moscow’s initiative to develop a common market with four of its neighbors.(Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool Photo via AP)
BEIJING – Russian President Vladimir Putin has raised the possibility of meeting Ukraine's president-elect in a sign Moscow might want to improve relations that soured after its 2014 annexation of Crimea.
Putin said Saturday if they meet, he and Volodymyr Zelenskiy should discuss how to end Ukraine's conflict with Russian-backed separatists in its southeast.
The Russian leader was in Beijing for a forum on China's Belt and Road infrastructure-building initiative.
Putin told reporters, "If we have a meeting sometime, begin some negotiations, which I do not rule out, then we will first of all have to talk about how to end the conflict in the southeast of Ukraine."