The Independent US 3 minutes ago 3 comments
by Taboola Sponsored Links Donald Trump has announced he is cancelling his scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit over the recent naval confrontation between Moscow and Ukraine.
The Trump administration has laid blame for the clash – in which Russia seized a number of crew from a Ukrainian ship – squarely at the feet of the Kremlin.
Russian officials said earlier on Thursday that the meeting had been confirmed by the White House – but Mr Trump had mused earlier this week that the meeting could be cancelled over the clash in the Sea of Azov between Russia and Ukraine.
Before boarding his flight to the G20 summit, Mr Trump had told reporters on Thursday that he still planned on meeting with Mr Putin in Argentina.
“Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin. I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!” Mr Trump tweeted on Thursday, announcing his decision.
After the Russian ships fired on and seized three Ukrainian boats on Sunday, the Ukrainian government labelled the move as an “act of aggression”, and made the rare move of imposing martial law in parts of the country. Russian officials said that the Ukrainian boats had illegally entered Russian waters.
Mr Trump had previously said that he was awaiting a “full report” on the incident, and a State Department spokesperson had said that the US would like to see tougher enforcement of sanctions on Russia.