He justified the decision on Twitter with the fact that the Ukrainian seafarers arrested by Russia had not been released so far. He looks forward to a meaningful meeting when the situation is settled.
The cancellation came shortly after former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was accused in court of misstating Congress – in connection with the investigation into the alleged Russian influence on the 2016 election campaign. The Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko welcomed the rejection. „That’s how big statesmen act,“ he wrote on Twitter.
In the past few days there had been a back and forth regarding the meeting. The Russian side had expected to come to a conclusion. Trump told journalists at the White House Thursday that he considers the G20 summit in the Argentine capital, starting on Friday, a „good time“ for a meeting with Putin. According to Russian sources, the conversation should take place on Saturday lunchtime.
So far, Russia has not officially canceled. If the refusal is correct, the Russian President has „a few extra hours for useful meetings“ on the sidelines of the summit, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, referring to the US President’s tweets.
Exaggerated with martial law?
The Russian Coast Guard had blocked three Ukrainian naval ships from entering the Sea of Azov on Sunday in Kerch Strait between the Crimean peninsula in the Black Sea and the Russian coast, and shelled the boats. Several Ukrainian marines were injured and a total of 24 crew members were arrested. They are due to go to court for violating the Russian border.
The Ukrainian parliament decided on Monday to impose martial law in parts of the country for 30 days. It is valid since Wednesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of reacting exaggeratedly to the military incident in the Black Sea by proclaiming martial law. It was nothing more than a border incident, Putin said at a finance forum in Moscow. The Russian units merely did „their military duty.“ The protection of the Russian border is „the legitimate task“ of the Coast Guard.