US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that considering the unsolved confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, he has decided it would be “best” to cancel his scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, reports Xinhua.
Trump tweeted during his flight to Argentina that “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!” he added.
The remarks marked a U-turn of Trump’s previous notes hours ago before leaving for the trip that it is “very good time” to meet with Putin in Argentina. While speaking to the media before leaving for Buenos Aires, Trump said he “probably” would meet with Putin, although he threatened earlier on Tuesday to cancel the scheduled meeting due to his displeasure of the ongoing Ukraine-Russia confrontation near the Kerch Strait that separates the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
“I probably will be meeting with President Putin. We haven’t terminated that meeting,” he said. “They would like to have it. I think it’s a very good time to have the meeting.”
He added that he would get a final report on the Ukraine-Russia tension during the upcoming flight.
“I’m getting a full report on the plane as to what happened with respect to that and that will determine what I’m going to be doing,” Trump said. Trump also told the media that he would have been willing to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Argentina, but there was no time in his schedule. The Ukrainian Navy said Sunday that Russian forces opened fire and seized three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait, adding that six Ukrainian military sailors were wounded, two of them in serious condition, in the attack.
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said the three Ukrainian ships, namely Berdyansk, Nikopol and Yany Kapu, breached the Russian border and conducted dangerous maneuvers in spite of orders of accompanying vessels from the FSB and Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
The Ukrainian Navy said in response that it has informed Russia in advance about the passage of Ukrainian vessels from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait, calling Russia’s actions an “act of aggression.” Meanwhile Kremlin said Trump’s decision to cancel talks with Russia’s Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit was regrettable.
“We regret the US administration’s decision to cancel the meeting,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies.
“This means that discussion of important issues on the international and bilateral agenda will be postponed indefinitely.” Putin, he said, “is ready to have contacts with his American counterpart.”