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Obama and Putin Share Uncomfortable D-Day Memorial Encounter

Things apparently got a little bit awkward between President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at Friday morning’s D-Day memorial ceremony in France.

The pair both attended a luncheon following the battlefield ceremonies and were “at times close enough to touch but did not speak with or acknowledge each other in the pool’s presence,” claimed reporters. As the group of leaders, including Queen Elizabeth, shuffled around for a photograph, their seemingly intentional avoidance of one another became more obvious.

More on the scene TPM described as “totally awkward,” based on a White House pool report:

After the photograph, everyone began moving off but for some reason they got called back to reassemble in the same positions and take it again. Potus made a point of jovially greeting other leaders, kissing Merkel on both cheeks, but he and Putin seemed to go out of their way not to encounter each other. As the leaders began making their way toward the chateau, Potus lingered to make sure Queen Elizabeth was okay while Putin moved ahead chatting with Hollande. At one point as the crowd moseyed slowly toward the building, Obama was right behind Putin and could have tapped him on the shoulder if he wanted to but instead focused his attention elsewhere as if not noticing who was there.

According to the pool report, the pair did speak on the side for roughly “10 to 15 minutes,” but it doesn’t seem to have thawed their overall relationship.

[Featured image via Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters]

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