Trump says he may cancel G-20 meeting with Putin over clash with Ukraine

President Trump on Tuesday suggested he may call off his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at this week’s Group of 20 (G-20) summit over Russia’s aggression toward the Ukrainian navy.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Trump said he was waiting for a “full report” on Tuesday evening about the clash in the Kerch Strait off Crimea that took place Sunday.

“That will be very determinative,” Trump said. “Maybe I won’t have the meeting. Maybe I won’t even have the meeting. … I don’t like that aggression. I don’t want that aggression at all.”

{mosads}The president’s comments were an escalation from his initial response on Monday, when he told reporters he did not like “what’s happening either way.”

Tensions flared between Ukraine and Russia on Sunday after the Ukrainian navy said Russia fired on some of its ships in the Kerch Strait, 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. United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called the move “arrogant.”

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 over his reluctance to condemn Russia over its seizure of Crimea. He has blamed former President Obama for allowing Russia to take the territory.

In addition to a scheduled meeting with Putin this weekend, the White House said Trump will hold bilateral meetings during the G-20 with the heads of state of Turkey, South Korea, Germany, Argentina, Japan, India and China. 

In an interview with NBC News, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he’d like Trump to tell Putin to “get out from Ukraine.”

Tags Donald Trump Nikki Haley
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