20, November 2016
US President Barack Obama has held a brief meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to talk about the situation in Syria and Ukraine.
Sunday’s short talk on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima, Peru, was the first one the two world leaders had since Donald Trump won the US presidency and believed to be the last one to be held in person.
The US president called on Russia to be committed to the Minsk deal, aimed at controlling the crisis in eastern Ukraine, while stressing the need for continuation of talks on Syria, according to the White House.
“The president urged President Putin to uphold Russia’s commitments under the Minsk agreements, underscoring the US and our partners’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty,” AFP quoted a White House official as saying.
Obama also “noted the need for Secretary (John) Kerry and Foreign Minister (Sergei) Lavrov to continue pursuing initiatives, together with the broader international community, to diminish the violence and alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.”
The four-minute meeting was held during Obama’s last foreign trip as the president. In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election held on November 8, Trump, the GOP nominee, called for a “very, very good relationship” with Putin, saying he is a better leader than Obama.
As Obama prepares to leave the White House, ties between Moscow and Washington remain at the lowest point since the Cold War, most notably over the situation in Syria and Ukraine.