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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chirac Thanks Putin

MOSCOW -- French President Jacques Chirac on Thursday telephoned President Vladimir Putin to thank him for the freeing of a French photographer who had been kidnapped in Chechnya, the Kremlin press service said.

Brice Fleutiaux was taken hostage Oct. 1 while covering the war. His captors demanded $1.5 million for his release.

He was freed Monday and flown to Moscow, where he met with Putin.

The French Foreign Ministry said no ransom was paid. Fleutiaux told reporters after returning to Paris on Tuesday that he thought he was exchanged for a Chechen leader.