The White House says Ukraine will be top item when President Obama meets with Russian President Putin in New York next week. Russia says it will focus on Syria. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Ukraine will be the top item of discussion when U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in New York next week, the White House said on Thursday (September 24). "When the president sits down with President Putin, the top item on his agenda will be Ukraine," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told a news briefing. However, a spokesman for the Kremlin says the meeting will focus on Syria. The planned meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama in New York on Sept. 28 was organized by "mutual agreement" and will focus on Syria, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. Earnest said the exact date of the meeting, on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, had yet to be decided. Peskov said the meeting between the two presidents will take place after Putin's address to the United Nations, adding that the leaders' talks may last between 50 minutes and an hour. But he said the United States hopes to enlist Russian aid in battling the Islamic State and said the U.S. discourages Russia from coming to the aid of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, calling it "a losing bet."