It’s no secret that there is no love lost between Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is counting down the days until Donald Trump takes office.
Daily Mail reported that Obama and Putin came face-to-face for the first time since Trump was elected during an economic summit in Peru, where the two leaders had a very brief exchange. The two men were spotted off to the side together for a moment before they shook hands and took their seat for a roundtable to open the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Lima.
The White House said the conversation lasted for only four minutes, and that Obama encouraged Putin to uphold his country’s commitments under the Minsk deal aimed at ending the Ukraine conflict.
The White House and the Kremlin said that Obama and Putin agreed that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov should keep working throughout Obama’s final weeks in office on initiatives to lower violence in Syria and alleviate suffering.
This came after reports came in that the U.S.’s relationship with Russia may be less antagonistic with Trump in office. Putin reportedly called Trump personally to offer him his congratulations immediately after he won the election. The Kremlin said Putin also expressed to Trump a readiness for a “partner-like dialogue” during their conversation.
There is also speculation that Putin plans to contact Trump as soon as he takes office to get his agreement on bombing targets in Syria.
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