Putin Says EU Leaders Want to End Sanctions Impasse

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with French businessman Philippe de Villiers in Yalta, Crimea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he believes many European leaders are eager to end the standoff over sanctions with Russia.

"I think that many in Europe, including the politicians, my colleagues ... [want] to get out as soon as possible of a situation that is damaging our cooperation," Putin said Thursday during a visit to the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine earlier this year.

He added that he had recently spoken to his French counterpart Francois Hollande and felt this also reflected the French president's mood.

Putin was speaking at a meeting with French businessman Philippe de Villiers, who has said he is planning to build an entertainment complex in Crimea.

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