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Putin and Obama May Hold Informal Talks This Week

U.S. President Barack Obama boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews as he departs Washington for China, Nov. 9.

President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama may hold informal discussions when they travel to the Asia-Pacific region this week for international summits, officials said Friday.

The two leaders last met in June, when they exchanged a few words during a ceremony in France marking the D-Day invasion anniversary. With Russia-West ties at their lowest point since the Cold War, amid the dispute over Ukraine, the strain in their personal relations was clearly visible.

This week, Obama and Putin will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing, then the G20 summit in Australia.

Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yury Ushakov, said Friday that no meeting has been set but that Putin and Obama have "a good chance" to meet on the sidelines. Ushakov emphasized that Putin wasn't shunning such a meeting.

In Washington, White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice said that while there were no plans for a formal meeting between Obama and Putin, "I wouldn't be at all surprised if they had some informal communication."

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