Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov has confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold talks with his US counterpart, Barack Obama during his stay at the UN General Assembly.
According to RT: When asked about the agenda of the Putin-Obama talks, the press secretary’s reply was “I’ll give you three guesses.”
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Later, Peskov specified by saying, “naturally, Syria is going to be topping the agenda.”
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“If there is enough time,” the Ukrainian issue will also be discussed by the leaders of Russia and the US, he added.
According to the press-secretary, the meeting will last from 50 minutes to an hour and will take place after the Russian president’s address at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly on September 28.
Moscow and Washington have given their mutual consent for the talks to take place between the two presidents, Peskov stressed.
U.S. officials said that the meeting requested by Putin, will take place in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday.
Putin will also address the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations the same day, according to Russian state media reports.
The WSJ reports: It will be the first formal meeting between the U.S. and Russian leaders since relations between the two countries soured over Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine. Messrs. Obama and Putin have had informal discussions on the sidelines of international summits, most recently last November in Australia. But they have not held formal talks since Mr. Obama canceled a meeting with the Mr. Putin in Russia in 2013 over Moscow’s decision to give asylum to Edward Snowden.
The senior administration official suggested America’s European allies prodded Mr. Obama to hold the meeting. Mr. Obama spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this week.
“In particular, our European partners have underscored the importance of a unified message about the necessity of fully implementing the Minsk agreements,” the official said. “President Obama will take advantage of this meeting to discuss Ukraine, and he will be focused on ensuring Moscow lives up to the Minsk commitments. This will be the core message of this bilateral engagement.”
While the situation in Ukraine will be on the agenda, the driving force behind the meeting was Russia’s recent military buildup in Syria. Moscow has dispatched more than two dozen combat aircraft to an airfield near the Syrian city of Latakia, where Russian surveillance drones have started flying, according to U.S. defense officials. Russia has also sent tanks, air-defense systems, armored-personnel carriers and enough housing for 2,000 people, officials have said.