Trump, Putin had 'informal' meeting at G-20, White House says

Hugh Fox
December 2, 2018

Russia is resisting worldwide calls to release three Ukrainian naval ships that its border patrols fired upon and seized in the strait near Russian-annexed Crimea last weekend. "I replied to his questions about the incident in the Black Sea", Putin was quoted as saying.

Russia accused the Ukrainian vessels of violating Russian territorial waters, a charge Ukraine has denied.

US President Donald Trump (R), looks at Russia's President Vladimir Putin as they take place for a family photo, during the G20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, on November 30, 2018. She added this is enshrined in a 2003 treaty and Russian Federation must stick to that.

"However, the reason for our canceled meeting is Ukraine", she said.

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Trump said Thursday he cancelled the meeting due to Russia's aggression with Ukrainian ships and crews last weekend.

In an exclusive interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on the sidelines of the global summit, Pompeo said Trump scrapped the anticipated meeting "because the Russians behaved in a way that is deeply inconsistent with worldwide law".

Merkel said "free shipping into the Sea of Azov to the Ukrainian coast and harbors must be ensured".

Putin spoke with reporters on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

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The November 25 incident was the first direct military confrontation between the two countries since Russian Federation annexed Crimea in 2014.

He also denounced Ukraine's call to shut global ports for Russian vessels based in Crimea, calling the suggestion "a new edition of gunboat diplomacy".

Kiev's pleas for help had also apparently fallen on deaf ears as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation provided a tight-lipped response, with the spokeswoman Oana Lungescu saying the bloc already has a sizeable naval presence in the Black Sea.

"The Kremlin is further testing the strength of the global order", Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko said in a speech at a military event earlier Saturday.

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In response to the seizure of the ships, Poroshenko convinced the Ukrainian parliament to implement martial law in ten border regions.

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