Russia: Obama Administration Lied About Meeting with Putin

Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama
September 25, 2015

Moscow claimed Friday that the White House presented a false account of how next week’s meeting between President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin was arranged.

Reuters reported that Kremlin adviser Yury Ushakov told journalists that the Obama administration "distorted" the truth by claiming that Putin requested the meeting, which will occur following his remarks to the United Nations General Assembly in New York Monday.

According to Moscow, the Obama White House proposed the meeting.

"Details of such preparations are usually not public," Ushakov said Friday. "But since the American side has decided to present its version, which distorts what happened ... I will point out straight away that the statement by the White House Press Secretary [Josh] Earnest that the Russian president sought the meeting, repeatedly asked about its organisation, does not correspond to the truth."

Earnest said Thursday that the Russian government had made "repeated requests" to meet with Obama.

"I think it is fair for you to say that based on the repeated requests we’ve seen from the Russians, that they are quite interested in having a conversation with President Obama," the White House spokesman said.

Ushakov told reporters that Moscow "expects more tactful and professional attitude to such kinds of subjects from the U.S. partners."

The meeting between the two leaders precipitated after Russia began increasing its military activity in Syria. Though the Obama administration has warned Russia that increasing military aid to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime will exacerbate the Syrian civil war, Moscow has continued to send troops and equipment to the country.

Ushakov said Friday that Syria would be the main focus of the conversation between Obama and Putin but that the two would also broach the subject of the chaos in Ukraine.