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Putin-Obama face-to-face meeting not expected this year

October 22, 2013, 15:54 UTC+3

However, contacts by telephone are possible, according to presidential aide Yuri Ushakov

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Photo ITAR-TASS/Valery Sharifulin

Photo ITAR-TASS/Valery Sharifulin

MOSCOW, October 22 (Itar-Tass) - A face-to-face meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama is not expected until the end of the year but contacts by telephone are possible, Putin’s aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters Tuesday.

“The schedule for this year doesn’t have much space for this but it doesn’t mean contacts by telephone aren’t possible,” Ushakov said.

“As far as we know, he /President Obama/ isn’t going to make any foreign visits /before the yearend/ due to purely internal problems,” he said.

Ushakov also said he had a conversation with the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, who is visiting Moscow. “We looked at a possibility of future contacts between the two Presidents but we didn’t discuss any specific details,” he said.

Putin and Obama met last time at the summit of the G8 in Northern Ireland in June. They were supposed to have a tete-a-tete meeting in St Petersburg in September but it was called off on the background of controversies between Moscow and Washington over Russia’s decision to grant asylum to the fugitive CIA technical analyst, Edward Snowden.

As a result, Putin and Obama had but a very brief face-to-face contact in the margins of the G20 summit, also in St Petersburg.

A summit meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Indonesia offered one more chance for the Russian and U.S. Presidents to meet but Obama called off the trip to Indonesia, the forum host country, in the wake of America’s persisting internal problems.

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