Obama will meet Putin next week during the United Nations General Assembly session

24 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Kremlin: Obama, Putin to Meet Monday in New York.

Peskov told journalists in Russia’s Rostov region that Putin will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and then later in the day with the president.Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to Elton John and invited him to a meeting after the British singer fell victim to a prank phone caller who pretended to be the Kremlin leader. Putin asked John on Thursday not to be offended by the hoax call and said he’s ready to meet him to discuss any subject, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters during the president’s visit to the Rostov region in southern Russia. Putin will address the assembly on Monday. “Given the situations in Ukraine and Syria, despite our profound differences with Moscow, the president believes that it would be irresponsible not to test whether we can make progress through high-level engagement with the Russians,” the U.S. official said.

The Obama administration official also said the U.S. president would “take advantage of this meeting to discuss Ukraine” and focus on ensuring that Russia lives up to its commitments to uphold the cease-fire agreement reached between Ukraine’s government and Russia-backed separatists. The diplomat “at first had some difficulty in explaining that he was the real Russian ambassador and that the real president of our country wants to speak” to John, Peskov said. John was coming off a trip lobbying for LGBT rights in Ukraine, during which he told the BBC that he wanted to meet with Putin to talk about his “isolating and prejudiced” and “ridiculous” attitude towards gay people. Later Thursday, Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Peskov as saying that the meeting was taking place “by mutual agreement” and that Syria would “naturally” be the primary issue discussed.

He said Ukraine would be discussed “if time allows.” The meeting comes amid reports Russia is bolstering its military presence in Syria to help President Bashar al-Assad in his fight against rebels seeking to overthrow him, including the Islamic State group. John was caught out last week by two Russian comedians who tricked him into believing that Peskov had called from the Kremlin and connected him to Putin after the singer said he’d like to discuss Russia’s “ridiculous” stance on gay rights with the president. That’s when Vladimir “Vovan” Krasnov and Alexei “Lexus” Stolyarov, a pair of hoaxers known for their prank calls to Russian and Ukrainian celebrities, admitted they had been the ones who phoned John. Putin said earlier this month that Russia wants to create an “international coalition to fight terrorism and extremism” and that his government was “holding consultations” on the issue with what he called “our American partners.” The joke was carried out by “harmless people, although this of course does not justify their prank,” he said, according to the Interfax news service.

The faux Putin suggested John come to Moscow in November and participate in a gay pride parade, despite the fact that police and counter-protesters have broken up annual gay pride events there for the past decade. Putin signed a law in 2013 that banned the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors”, ushering in a wave of harassment and violence against gay people, including teenagers. John has campaigned for gay rights in Russia and in 2014 published an open letter condemning the gay propaganda law and offering to introduce Putin to members of the LGBT community.

This week, a judge reportedly ordered Deti-404, an online support group for LGBT teenagers, to be shut down, although the site was still accessible on Thursday.

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