Trump cancels meeting with Putin over Ukraine crisis
WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump abruptly pulled out of a planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin scheduled for this week’s Group of 20 industrialised nations summit, citing the current Ukraine crisis.
"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," Trump said in a Twitter message.
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....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2018
POTUS continued that he 'looked forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!”
The US leader made the comments after departing for the G20 summit in Argentina on Thursday.
His tweet came as a surprise as an hour earlier, he had told newsmen that he probably meet Putin at the summit and said it was 'a very good time to have the meeting.'
However, Trump had also said he would get a final report during the flight on the tension in the region after Russia seized Ukrainian vessels near Crimea on Sunday.
The US-Russia relations have been sour primarily due to divergent approaches on Ukraine, as well as Moscow’s role in the civil war in Syria apart from other issues.
The Obama administration imposed sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014; the move brought ties between Washington and Moscow to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.
The United States has also investigated Russia’s possible interference in the 2016 presidential election that Trump won though Kremlin and POTUS both deny such allegations.
At their last interaction in July, Trump faced flak for suggesting he took Putin’s word on whether Russia interfered with the 2016 US presidential election or not, rather than relying on the assessment of the US intelligence agencies which are deeply involved in connecting the dots, if any.
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