Putin open to meeting Obama at UN headquarters
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Putin open to meeting Obama at UN headquarters

No plans set, but White House admits ‘possibility’ the two leaders will meet amid Ukraine, Syria tensions

Russian President Vladimir Putin seen behind US President Barack Obama during a group photo of world leaders attending the D-Day 70th Anniversary ceremonies at Chateau de Benouville in Benouville, France, June 6, 2014. (Saul Loeb/AFP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin seen behind US President Barack Obama during a group photo of world leaders attending the D-Day 70th Anniversary ceremonies at Chateau de Benouville in Benouville, France, June 6, 2014. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin is “open to dialogue” and to meeting with his US counterpart Barack Obama when he visits UN headquarters later this month, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said Tuesday.

“President Putin is always open to dialogue, especially with his colleague President Obama,” Peskov said, adding that no such meeting had yet been agreed.

“There is a will (for dialogue) on Russia’s part and this will remains,” he added.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest meanwhile said Obama and Putin might meet in New York, though he could not confirm any actual plans.

“Certainly, there is the possibility that the two leaders could meet while they’re there because they are likely to be there at the same time,” he said.

Obama and Putin last met in November 2014 at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing.

The Ukraine conflict that erupted last year has led to the worst stand-off in Western-Russian relations since the Cold War, with the US and some European states imposing sanctions that have hurt Russia’s economy. Russia’s support for Syria’s Bashar Assad in that nation’s 4.5-year-old civil war also rankles Western governments like the US who oppose Assad’s regime.

Putin is due to arrive in New York on September 28 to address the UN General Assembly.

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