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Obama to use meeting with Putin for discussing Ukraine

September 24, 2015, 23:28 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
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WASHINGTON, September 24. /TASS/. President Barack Obama will use his meeting with Vladimir Putin, which the sides have scheduled for Monday September 28, to discuss the situation in and around Ukraine, a high-ranking Administration official told TASS.

He said that Obama was going to focus the discussions of Ukraine on Moscow's compliance with its obligations under the Minsk accords and this compliance would be the keynote of the contact between two Presidents.

The official said Obama believed it would be too irresponsible to miss an opportunity to try out whether progress could be made through top-level communications with Moscow in the light of the situation in Ukraine and Syria.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest told a news briefing on Thursday the meeting between the two Presidents would be held upon a request from the Russian side.

"When the president sits down with President Putin, the top item on his agenda will be Ukraine," Earnest said.

Earlier on the same day, the Russian President's press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters Putin and Obama would hold a meeting upon a mutual agreement. He said it would last from fifty to sixty minutes and would take place after Putin's speech to the General Assembly on Monday, September 28.

Peskov said the discussion at the meeting would be dominated by Syria but the two Presidents might also take a look at Ukraine.

"Quite naturally, Syria is problem number one," he said, adding that whether or not Ukraine was taken up depended on how much time the two Presidents had.

Peskov recalled that the situation in Ukraine would be the highlight of discussions at a meeting of leaders of the 'Normandy Four' countries in Paris on October 2.

Contacts between Putin and Obama became quite rare after the two countries had developed differences on the Ukrainian crisis. They saw each other in person almost a year ago in November 2014, at a conference of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

In the past three months, they have spoken on the phone on three occasions only.

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