President Trump announced he is nixing a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina on Saturday, in the wake of the seizure of Ukrainian ships and crews in the Black Sea by Russia.
“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,” he tweeted Thursday.
“I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!” he added.
Trump had told The Washington Post Tuesday that he may not meet with Putin in Buenos Aires after Russian forces fired on Ukrainian naval vessels and seized their crews as they were sailing through the Kerch Strait, near Crimea.
“I am getting a report on that tonight and that will determine what happens at the meeting,” Trump said. “I’m getting a full report on that tonight. That will be very determinative. Maybe I won’t have the meeting. Maybe I won’t even have the meeting. We’re going to see, depending on what comes out tonight.”
He later told the Post that “I don’t like that aggression.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday the Trump is receiving “regular briefings on the Russia/Ukraine situation from his national security team.”
But the Kremlin had told Russian state media Wednesday that they were planning on the meeting taking place.
“Preparations are continuing. The meeting has been agreed. We have no other information from our U.S. counterparts,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian state media.