Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) is seen during an official meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and his delegation in Moscow, Russia on October 14, 2014.
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Trying to maneuver out of the worst Russia-West crisis since the Cold War, President Vladimir Putin is unleashing a diplomatic blitz involving a series of meetings with Western leaders during his visit to Italy.Presidential foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov said that Putin will meet Thursday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and attend a dinner involving other leaders.On Friday, Putin will have breakfast with the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Ukraine and the European Union that will focus on Ukraine. A separate meeting involving Putin and the leaders of France, Germany and Ukraine is also being considered.In an apparent show of goodwill before the trip to Milan, Putin over the weekend ordered 17,600 Russian troops to pull back from areas near the border with Ukraine and return to their home bases.
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