Obama and Putin meet amid tensions: White House

US President Barack Obama met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin three times on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit on Tuesday, with their conversations covering Iran, Syria and Ukraine, the White House said. Relations between Washington and Moscow are at their lowest ebb since the Cold War, with Russia under US-backed Western sanctions over its seizure of the Crimea this year and its role in the separatist war in eastern Ukraine.But the two spoke for “a total of approximately 15-20 minutes” during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation APEC gathering at a lakeside venue north of the Chinese capital, National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan told reporters. “Their conversations covered Iran, Syria, and Ukraine,” she said.Both Russia and the US are involved in the P5+1 talks on Irans nuclear programme, but on Syria Moscow is a key ally of Bashar al-Assads government and has supported him throughout the uprising that began in March 2011.


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