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Kremlin says it learned Trump-Putin G20 meeting cancelled via Tweet

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Putin throwing major shade
Russian
President Vladimir Putin speaks during the 10th Russia Calling!
VTB Capital Investment Forum November 28, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.
Putin was planning to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump at
the G20 Summit in Argentina at the end of this week.

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty
Imag


  • The Kremlin on Thursday says it was surprised to learn
    that a meeting between its President Vladimir Putin and US
    President Donald Trump had been cancelled via a tweet.
  • Trump and Putin were supposed to meet in Argentina on
    the sidelines of the G20 summit, which gathers leaders from the
    world’s 20 largest economies.
  • But on Thursday, Trump tweeted that the meeting was off
    over
    escalating clashes between Ukraine and Russia near
    Crimea
    .
  • The Kremlin said Trump’s tweet was the first time it
    learned of the abrupt cancellation. 
  • Kiev and Moscow continue to trade barbs, amid
    accusations of a
    large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine

The Kremlin on Thursday says it was surprised to learn that a
meeting between its leader Vladimir Putin and US President Donald
Trump had been cancelled via a tweet. 

Trump and Putin were supposed to meet in Argentina on the
sidelines of the G20 Summit, which gathers leaders from the
world’s 20 largest economies.

It would’ve been the first meeting between the two heads of
state since they met face-to-face in Finland with only their
translators present in July.

But on Thursday, Trump tweeted that the meeting had been
cancelled in response to news that
Russia had fired at several Ukrainian ships
on Sunday and
were
still holding three Ukrainian sailors
.

“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.

“I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as
this situation is resolved!” he added.

The Kremlin said Thursday’s tweet was the first time it was given
notice about the abrupt cancellation. 

“So far, we have only seen the tweet and media reports,”
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told state-owned TASS News Agency.

We have no official
information.” 

Peskov added that if the meeting was indeed cancelled, Putin
would have “a couple of additional hours” freed up “for useful
meetings.”

Trump’s tweet appeared shortly after he boarded Air Force One to
depart for the summit. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee
Sanders told reporters that Trump made the decision after
consulting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff
John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton. 

Trump said earlier on Thursday that the meeting would “probably
still go ahead despite the major escalation of tensions near
Crimea. 

“They would like to have it. I think it’s a very good time
to have the meeting,” Trump told reporters before leaving
Washington to fly to Buenos Aires.

Tensions remain high in the Sea of Azov which both
Ukraine and Russia share access to following
Sunday’s clashes. Ukraine on Monday imposed martial law in parts
of the country, and
accused Russia of planning a full-scale invasion
of the
country. On Thursday, Kiev called on NATO to deploy ships
in order to “provide
security
” in the tense region.

Ukraine has also accused Russia of enforcing a de facto blockade
on two key Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov, which Russia
denies and says shipping delays were due to “bad
weather.
”  

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