U.S. President Donald Trump says that a recent Russian attack on three Ukrainian boats in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait on November 25 is the "sole reason" for cancelling a planned meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Argentina.
"Trump calls the conflict the 'sole reason' for canceling a meeting with the Russian president," ABC News tweeted on November 30.
"[President] Trump says he hopes Ukraine and Russia 'settle it out soon' with row over captured sailors, because 'we look forward to meeting with President Putin,'" the tweet said.
Pres. Trump says he hopes Ukraine and Russia "settle it out soon" with row over captured sailors, because "we look forward to meeting with President Putin."— ABC News (@ABC) November 30, 2018
Trump calls the conflict the "sole reason" for canceling a meeting with the Russian president. https://t.co/g8JYyUV4igpic.twitter.com/DvwJ7ObeUI
On November 30, official spokesperson Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova announced that Trump had canceled the meeting with Putin for domestic political reasons, and not because of the incident in the Kerch Strait.
As was earlier reported, Trump on November 29 said he was canceling a meeting with Putin scheduled to take place during the upcoming summit for the Group of 20 industrialized nations in Argentina, citing the current Ukraine crisis.
As UNIAN reported, three Ukrainian vessels were captured on November 25 by Russian forces at sea near the Kerch Strait, which is the only outlet to the Sea of Azov and controls access to two major Ukrainian ports. The two Ukrainian artillery boats and a tugboat were heading from Odesa on the Black Sea to Mariupol on the Sea of Azov. Twenty-four sailors were detained and "courts" in Russian-occupied Crimea ruled that they be detained for two months, pending trial.