Trump on Ukraine-Russia conflict: 'We don't like what's happening either way'

Trump on Ukraine-Russia conflict: 'We don't like what's happening either way'
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden, Sanders lead field in Iowa poll The Memo: Cohen fans flames around Trump Memo Comey used to brief Trump on dossier released: report MORE on Monday said the U.S. will cooperate with Europe to address escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia after the latter fired on and seized Ukrainian ships off the coast of Crimea.

"We do not like what’s happening either way. We don't like what's happening, and hopefully it’ll get straightened out," Trump told reporters as he departed the White House for a campaign trip to Mississippi.

"I know Europe is not, they are not thrilled," Trump continued. "They’re working on it too. We’re all working on it together."

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump's remarks were his first on the issue since the Ukraine said Sunday that Russia had fired on some of its ships in the Kerch Strait near Crimea, hitting two vessels and injuring two crew members.

Russia then seized both ships and a tugboat, Ukraine said. 

Russia’s federal security service, the FSB, said it seized the ships for illegally sailing into Russian territorial waters. 

The move drew condemnation from the international community and some U.S. lawmakers.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said at a Security Council meeting on Monday that the Trump administration supports Ukraine, and called Russia's aggression "an arrogant act that the international community must condemn and will never accept."

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said all members of the allies "expressed their full support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty" in the wake of the altercation.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, prompting significant international backlash and sanctions against Moscow. The U.S. and most other nations have not recognized Russia's annexation of Crimea as legitimate.

Trump has drawn criticism at times for his reluctance to condemn Russia over its seizure of Crimea, among other topics. He has blamed former President Obama for allowing Russia to take the territory.

Trump is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina at the end of the week.