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Putin und Obama
Image: Getty Images/AFP/J. Samad

Putin to meet Obama at UN's sidelines

September 24, 2015

After nearly a year, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Barack Obama are expected to meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. The meeting will reportedly focus on Syria and Ukraine.


Kremlin spokesperson Dmirty Peskov said on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama will meet in New York on Monday, reported Russia's news agency TASS.

Peskov said that the September 28 meeting was organized by "mutual agreement."

US-Russian relations have hit an unprecedented low since the Cold War after Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

The two leaders met for a brief moment at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November 2014, though Peskov said they only "exchanged a few words" at that time.

Conflicts on the table

According to the Kremlin, the meeting between the two presidents will focus on Syria, where Russia is accused of sending troops, munitions and supplies to the country in a bid to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

International efforts to bring about a political solution to the Syrian conflict have intensified in recent months after families fleeing the war-torn country migrate to the EU, contributing to Europe's largest refugee influx in years.

The White House confirmed the meeting, adding that Obama believed it would be irresponsible not to gauge the possibility of progress between the two nations regarding the conflicts in Syria and eastern Ukraine.

"When the president sits down with President Putin, the top item on his agenda will be Ukraine," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest at a press briefing.

Last week, the two countries' defense chiefs spoke over the phone to discuss "de-conflict" in Syria.

ls/msh (AP, Reuters, dpa)