Tefft: No need for contact between U.S., Russian leaders in near future

There is no need for contact between the U.S. and Russian leaders in the near future, U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft said, adding that it was important to work on the Ukraine situation in the "Normandy format".

There is no need for contact between the U.S. and Russian leaders in the near future, U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Tefft said, adding that it was important to work on the Ukraine situation in the "Normandy format".

The implementation of the Minsk agreements is the primary objective; the negotiations are continuing, and there is no need for immediate contact, Tefft said, responding to an Interfax question as to whether President Barack Obama might be interested in contacting President Vladimir Putin in the near future.

The ambassador said the United States was happy with the job done by the French and German leaders. He also said that President Obama spoke to President Putin and President Poroshenko on the phone before the second round of the meeting about the implementation of the Minsk deal.

The ambassador said he was expecting the sides to make progress.

On the whole, Obama supports the "Normandy format" process for Ukraine, he noted.

In addition, the diplomat highlighted the input of OSCE representative Heidi Tagliavini in the activity of the Trilateral Contact Group for Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that President Vladimir Putin would agree to a meeting or a telephone conversation with Obama if the latter expressed an interest in having them.

As to what issues were discussed between Tefft and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on the Russian Foreign Ministry premises on Wednesday, the ambassador said they were speaking about the bilateral agenda.

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