Obama and Putin to meet; Syria and Ukraine vie for attention

Obama meets with Vladimir Putin during the G8 Summit at Lough Erne in EnniskillenBy Roberta Rampton and Denis Dyomkin WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet in New York next week at a time of high tension in Europe and the Middle East, but the Kremlin and the White House disagreed on Thursday over the top priority for the talks. The White House insisted the meeting would focus on eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed forces are fighting the Kiev government, prompting tough sanctions that have damaged Russia’s economy. Moscow, however, said the main focus would be on Syria, where Russia has built up its military forces in recent weeks with combat aircraft, tanks and other equipment in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

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