Russia border countries in Europe cool on Putin talks plan

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BRUSSELS (AP) — Countries bordering Russia are worried about a Franco-German plan to resume official meetings with President Vladimir Putin. Lithuania’s president likens the idea to trying to talk a bear out of stealing a pot of honey. He says: “We have to deal with Russia, but being very cautious about the real intentions of Putin’s regime.” The issue is on the agenda of an EU summit in Brussels. The 27-nation bloc is deeply divided in its approach to Moscow. Russia is the EU’s biggest natural gas supplier, and plays a key role in a series of international conflicts and strategic issues. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says sanctions are not enough, and that the EU should engage Putin directly.

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