Putin to consider request to meet Obama at UN general assembly

  • Reuters, Sevastopol, Crimea
  • Updated: Aug 19, 2015 22:37 IST
Russian President Vladimir Putin may consider meeting US President Barack Obama during the UN General Assembly in New York in September. (AFP File Photo)

While attending UN General Assembly in New York next month, Russian President Vladimir Putin would "consider constructively" any request for a meeting there with President Barack Obama, Russia's foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Relations between Russia and the West hit a post-Cold War low over Ukraine, where Moscow annexed Crimea from Kiev in 2014 and where Washington and Brussels say it is driving a separatist pro-Russian revolt in the east.

But Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the Kremlin would consider any request from the White House for a meeting between Putin and Obama at the United Nations.
Russia sides with the rebels but denies arming them, or sending its serving troops to fight on their behalf in east Ukraine. The West slapped sanctions on Russia over its role in the conflict.

Other disputes between Russia and the West include the conflict in Syria, human rights, security and defence as well as trade issues.

But Moscow and Washington were among six world powers that last month reached a deal with Iran on its nuclear programme, a landmark agreement ending a decades-old international dispute.

Obama thanked Putin on the phone for his part in the Iran deal. The two last spoke face-to-face briefly in November, and Putin has paid no official visits to the United States since returning to the Kremlin for a third term in mid-2012.

Putin, a former spy who has been Russia's paramount leader for more than 15 years, has mostly avoided travelling to the West since the United States and the European Union slapped sanctions on Russia over Ukraine last year.

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