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Putin to meet Obama in New York Monday: Kremlin

By The Rainbow
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Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will meet US leader Barack Obama during his visit to the UN in New York on Monday, as the US frets about a military buildup by Moscow in Syria.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed to Russian news wires that the meeting will go ahead after the two leaders address the United Nations General Assembly.

Putin will also hold a meeting with Japan’s Premier Shinzo Abe, Peskov said Thursday.

A senior US official said the Obama meeting has been arranged “in the context of the UN General Assembly” at the request of Putin.

“It would be irresponsible not to test whether we can make progress through high-level engagement,” the official told AFP.

Washington and its EU allies have urged Moscow to explain its military buildup in its longtime ally Syria, which has been reported to include airport facilities and bases, as well as planes and tank-landing ships.

The US and Moscow have been locked in a bitter feud over the crisis in Ukraine that has pushed relations to their lowest point since the Cold War.

Putin and Obama last held a fleeting meeting on the sidelines of an APEC Asia-Pacific summit in Beijing in November 2014.

Their last official bilateral meeting was in June 2013 at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.

Moscow on Thursday announced naval exercises in the east Mediterranean, which are set to run into next month.

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