Trump abruptly cancels G20 meeting with Putin

Two Ukrainian forces navy ships are seen near Crimea

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President Donald Trump says he's cancelled a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing Russia's seizure of Ukrainian vessels.

Mr Trump had previously cast the Buenos Aires sit-down into doubt, telling The Washington Post he might cancel seeing Mr Putin after Russian Federation seized Ukrainian vessels and crew members over the weekend, sparking global condemnation and a sharp escalation in tensions between the neighbours.

But he seemed to reverse course as he left the White House on Thursday, telling reporters that the meeting with Putin was still on.

The issue is the biggest looming over Mr Trump's visit to Argentina, with the two economic giants locked in exchanges of punitive tariffs and Washington effectively threatening to target all remaining Chinese imports, including Apple products made in China.

The episode risks derailing a meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the G20 in Argentina this week.

Trump's cancelling of the meeting appeared to catch the Kremlin by surprise.

Donald Trump has cancelled a planned meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit of world leaders over rising tensions between Russian Federation and Ukraine.

"It is a provocation initiated by the current authorities, and I think by the [Ukrainian] president, in light of the upcoming elections to be held next year", Putin told an audience at an investment forum in Moscow, CNBC reported.

Ukraine sailors russia tv confession

"It is wrong to assume that the Russian side needs this meeting more", Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Russian Federation Council's International Affairs Committee, said on Facebook.

The Russian rouble, which is sensitive to events that might lead to new sanctions being imposed on Russia, fell on news of the cancelled meeting between Trump and Putin. "I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!" he tweeted, apparently from aboard Air Force One.

In Russia, however, said that the alleged Ukrainian warships "illegal went to the temporarily closed waters of the territorial sea of the Russian Federation" and continued moving to the Kerch Strait.

Following Trump's tweet Thursday, the White House said he had also cancelled formal meetings at the G20 with Turkey and South Korea, preferring to speak informally with leaders at the summit.

According to him, Putin is still ready to host contact with the trump. Trump told reporters outside the White House less than two hours prior to the cancelation that he was contemplating terminating the meeting.

He has implemented martial law across Ukraine's border regions for 30 days in response to the crisis. The dossier's most explosive claim, that the Kremlin has a recording of a sexual nature that would compromise Trump, hasn't ever been verified. I was thinking about it, but we haven't.

The two countries agreed in 2003 to share the sea, which is one of the shallowest in the world, but Moscow has said that its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, which has gone unrecognized by much of the world, invalidates the agreement.

"I hope they understand that", he said.

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