Putin, Obama to Meet in June, September

BOCHAROV RUCHEI, May 24 (RIA Novosti) – Presidents Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama will meet at a G8 summit in June and during the US president’s visit to Russia in September, a Kremlin aide said on Friday.

“The first meeting will be in Lough Erne [Northern Ireland] on the sidelines of the G8 Summit and then [during] Obama’s visit [to Russia] in September, early September,” Putin aide Yury Ushakov said, adding that Obama’s visit will take place before the G20 summit that will be held either in Moscow or St. Petersburg.

Putin’s reply to Obama covers all fields of bilateral relations, including cooperation between security and law enforcement agencies, and contains a number of practical proposals, and addresses Syria, Iran and North Korea and other issues, Ushakov said.

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, on an official visit to the US, handed over a letter from Putin to Obama on Wednesday.

The letter is a response to Obama’s message which US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon brought to Moscow in April. Obama’s message has not been made public, but Ushakov said last month it contained a number of proposals to strengthen bilateral cooperation, including on missile defense, and to expand economic ties.

Putin and Obama will discuss missile defense among other issues in June, but any agreements on the issue are unlikely, Ushakov said on Friday. In his reply to Obama, Putin states that Russia’s position on missile defense differs in many respects from the US vision, Ushakov said.

On Thursday, Russia’s Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov said the United States’ insistence on pursuing a missile defense system in Europe is standing in the way of further cuts to Russia’s nuclear deterrent forces. Presidential chief of staff Sergei Ivanov reiterated Russia’s position on missile defense, stressing Moscow does not seek an advantage, merely legal guarantees regarding its current and future security.


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