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Putin confirmed for UN's 70th celebration

August 19, 2015

Along with several other world leaders, Russia's president will attend events to mark the UN General Assembly's 70th anniversary. But there's still no confirmation that he will give a speech.

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Image: Reuters/G. Dukor

Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend next month's 70th anniversary session of the UN General Assembly.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed Putin's appearance in a press conference on Wednesday.

Putin had been provisionally booked to give a speech at the September 28 session in New York. His name was on a list of speakers released by the UN last month. But Lavrov didn't confirm whether Putin would speak.

US President Barack Obama, Xi Jinping of China, Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani and Francois Hollande of France are scheduled to deliver speeches on the same day, according to the provisional running order.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is also expected to give a speech at the UN General Assembly next monthImage: AFP/Getty Images/B. Mehri

Asked whether Putin would meet with Obama while in the United States, Lavrov said that "if there is such an offer from their side, I think our president will consider it constructively."

Putin last visited the United States in 2007, during his second term as president.

In November 2014, he and Obama held frosty talks at the G-20 summit in Australia, just months after Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula and then backed the separatist movement in eastern Ukraine.

Putin is the only world leader who gave a speech during 2005's 60th anniversary of the General Assembly still in power today.

The United Nations was founded just after the conclusion of World War II, in October 1945, replacing the League of Nations, which was widely seen as ineffective. The UN's principle role is to maintain international peace and security. But it is often criticized for bureaucratic inefficiency and corruption, and there are frequent calls to reform the world body.

mm/mkg (AFP, AP, dpa)