(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –US President Donald Trump on Thursday abruptly canceled his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin two days before they were scheduled to sit down on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
The President pinned the cancellation on Russia’s refusal to release Ukrainian Navy ships and sailors seized during a maritime confrontation between the two countries on Sunday.
But while Russia’s position on the incident has not changed since it attacked Ukrainian ships on Sunday, the President’s abrupt move came after his longtime former attorney Michael Cohen leveled fresh allegations in court about Trump’s business dealings with Russia.
“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!” Trump tweeted en route to the summit.
Trump announced he was canceling the meeting less than an hour after telling reporters he believed it is “a very good time to have a meeting” with Putin.
His tweet came shortly after he boarded Air Force One to depart for the G20 summit in Buenos Aires and the series of bilateral meetings he has scheduled in the city.
Aboard the plane, his spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters the President made his decision in consultation with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, chief of staff John Kelly and national security adviser John Bolton, who phoned into the plane from Brazil.