US President Barack Obama, during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, urged the Russian President to try and make progress in the implementation of the Minsk Agreements before the end of his term in January 2017.
Obama discussed the content of his conversation with the Russian leader at the final press conference following the APEC summit.
"I talked with Putin about Ukraine, about the need to implement the Minsk Agreements. I called on him to instruct his negotiating team to work with us, with France, Germany, and Ukraine, to see if we can achieve this before the end of my term of office," the head of the White House said.
The United States also "remains deeply concerned about the bloodshed and chaos" in Syria, Obama said. He put the responsibility for what is happening on the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad’s forces and Russian VKS (Aerospace Forces) which support them.
Obama said he raised this issue in a conversation with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. According to him, he stressed "the need for us firstly to come to a humanitarian ceasefire and then to start moving towards a political conversion of any sort" in Syria. The US President said that on the whole, it was "the same conversation as all the previous ones in recent months."
Obama also said that he was "not optimistic about the short-term perspective" in Syria.
According to him, after "Russia and Iran had decided to support the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, it became difficult to determine the method with which the committed and prepared opposition would be able to hold its positions for an extended period of time." "I continue to believe that we did not have any legal grounds for military intervention; it would be a strategic mistake, taking into account the work that we need to complete in Iraq," the US President said at the press conference.
Obama assured that he personally, along with Secretary of State John Kerry, will continue to deal with the resolution of the Syrian crisis as long as they both "have the authority to speak for the US government." However, as the head of the state admitted, the United States now "does not support and sees no interest" in resolving the situation "on the part of those who support" Assad.