President Trump yesterday canceled a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in response to Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian ships.  They were scheduled to meet at the G-20 Summit in Argentina.

“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 Putin,” Trump said in a tweet from Air Force One on his way to the two-day G-20 summit. Instead, it appears President Trump is expected to focus on trade.

However, Moscow said U.S. domestic politics may have been the real reason behind the cancellation after Michael Cohen,  President Trump’s former personal lawyer, pleaded guilty on Thursday to lying to Congress about a proposed Trump skyscraper in Moscow.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said President Trump made the decision on the flight after conferring with chief of staff Kelly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Advisor John Bolton.

Tensions have increased amid the diplomatic crisis unfolding after Russia fired on and then seized three Ukrainian ships earlier this week in the Sea of Azov.  Russia is holding two dozen Ukrainian sailors involved in the skirmish.  Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has said his country is under threat of “full scale war with Russia.”

“It’s just about standing up for what we believe in because I think when you don’t stand up to Russia, or other countries that would take that kind of aggressive activity, they take from it that it is somehow acceptable,” Ohio Senator Rob Portman, a Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said.

 

 

 

 

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