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Putin, Obama may meet on sidelines of UN General Assembly session — US diplomat

August 26, 2015, 14:55 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

Victoria Nuland says it is up to Washington to decide

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Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin (archive)

Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin (archive)

© TASS/Alexei Druzhinin

WASHINGTON, August 26. /TASS/. The top US diplomat for Europe said on Wednesday the leaders of Russia and the United States could potentially meet at next month’s United Nations General Assembly session and other events planned on its sidelines in New York.

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland told TASS she couldn't make any official announcements regarding possible contacts between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama.

"I don't have anything to announce today. Obviously, those will be White House decisions to make," Nuland said, noting however that the US government expected President Obama to participate in "a number of multilateral events" on the sidelines of the UNGA session that coincides with 70th anniversary of the founding of the world body. "Some of them may bring the President [Obama] and President Putin together," she said.

The diplomat added she believed "what's most important now, particularly with regard to the situation on the ground in Ukraine, which has become more dangerous over the last few weeks, is that we use time between now and UNGA to communicate clearly, to seek a de-escalation, to conclude the heavy weapons withdrawal that Minsk calls for, so that we can get back to the rest of Minsk implementation."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said last week President Putin was planning to attend the UNGA session.

"This is a great event in the life of the organization. This year, we mark the 70th anniversary of this forum, which was created after the victory in the Great Patriotic War, in World War Two. A record number of heads of state and government are expected to attend the session. Our president plans to take part in this event too," Lavrov told reporters on August 19.


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