By Carol E. Lee
LIMA, Peru -- President Barack Obama had a brief conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday on the sidelines of a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders, their first discussion since the U.S. election.
Messrs. Obama and Putin had spoken before the Nov. 8 election, after the U.S. accused the Russian government of using cyberattacks to try to influence the outcome of the presidential race.
Mr. Putin had favored Donald Trump in the election, while Mr. Obama campaigned vigorously for Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump's victory has raised the prospect of a shift in U.S.-Russia relations.
Mr. Obama said he urged Mr. Putin to instruct his aides to work with theU.S. and Europe to finally resolve the issue of Ukraine. He said he told Mr. Putin the goal is "to see if we can get that done before my term is up."
He said he also told Mr. Putin he is "still deeply concerned about the bloodshed and chaos" that's being caused by attacks on Aleppo.
He said it was "a candid and courteous" discussion.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the two leaders "expressed regret that it was not possible to make progress in Ukraine," but added that the remaining months of Mr. Obama's presidency should be used to pursue a resolution of the Syrian crisis, the news agency Interfax reported.
Earlier this week, while in Germany, Mr. Obama and European leaders agreed to maintain economic sanctions against Russia for its intervention in Ukraine.
Mr. Obama said the U.S. had "very clear proof" that Russia was behind cyberattacks during the presidential campaign.
"I've sought a constructive relationship with Russia, but what I have also been is realistic in recognizing that there are some significant differences in how Russia views the world and how we view the world," Mr. Obama said at a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"And my hope is that the president-elect coming in takes a similarly constructive approach, finding areas where we can cooperate with Russia where our values and interests align, but that the president-elect also is willing to stand up to Russia where they are deviating from our values and international norms," Mr. Obama said.
Write to Carol E. Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 20, 2016 19:41 ET (00:41 GMT)
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