Sunday 22 September 2019

Trump cancels Putin meeting over Russia-Ukraine dispute

The US president tweeted his decision after departing Washington for a world leader summit in Argentina, where he and Vladimir Putin were to meet.

Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving the White House to attend the G20 Summit in Argentina (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving the White House to attend the G20 Summit in Argentina (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

US President Donald Trump said he has cancelled a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian vessels.

Mr Trump tweeted his decision after departing Washington for the G20 world leader summit in Argentina, where he and Mr Putin were to meet.

The president said “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!”

Russia recently seized three Ukrainian vessels and crews, saying Ukraine did not have permission to pass between Russia’s mainland and the Crimean Peninsula.

Ukraine insisted its vessels abided by maritime laws.

The Kremlin said it has not been notified of the cancellation.

Russian news agencies quoted Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin’s spokesman, as saying that the Kremlin only learnt about the cancellation from Mr Trump’s tweet.

He said the Russian delegation is already on its way to the G20 summit.

Mr Peskov said the cancellation means that Mr Putin will have “a couple more hours” for “useful meetings” with other leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies.

PA Media

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