Kremlin caught off guard by Trump canceling Putin meeting

Russia was not notified in advance of President TrumpDonald John TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump MORE's tweet on Thursday canceling a planned meeting this week with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Argentina.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by Russian news outlets saying Moscow learned about Trump's decision from his tweet announcing that he would not meet with Putin, according to The Associated Press.


Peskov added that Putin will now have “a couple of more hours” for meetings with other world leaders at the G-20 summit.

Trump said in a tweet he was canceling the meeting because of Russia's recent seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels.

“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,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Russia last weekend opened fire on the vessels before seizing them in the Kerch Strait near the Crimean Peninsula. Russia maintains the ships were illegally in Russian waters, even though the area is widely recognized as Ukrainian territory.

Earlier Thursday, talks between Putin and Trump at the G-20 appeared to be on track, with Trump saying he would "probably" meet with Putin, and Peskov telling reporters that Trump and Putin planned to meet one-on-one at the summit.

Trump's reversal came shortly after his former personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about negotiations he engaged in to build a Trump Tower in Russia. Those negotiations occurred during the 2016 presidential campaign, Cohen said.