President Vladimir Putin said he hoped Russia would not lose the right to hold the 2018 World Cup, following calls to strip Russia of the contest.
Asked whether there were any risks Russia could lose its right to hold the tournament due to the "complicated political situation", Putin said: "I hope not. Fifa has already said soccer and sport are outside politics and I think that is the right approach."
Were the Russians -as Barack Obama claims - weighed down by sanctions, or where the Ukrainians looking to cut their losses?
The new president of the European Council could be "very important" for David Cameron.