Trump cancels meeting with Putin, citing Russia's seizure of Ukrainian vessels.

In a tweet, President Trump said he was calling off talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin over Russia's seizure of Ukrainian ships and crew members earlier this week. Earlier, the Kremlin had confirmed the two leaders had planned to meet this weekend in Buenas Aires.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

MOSCOW — The Kremlin said Thursday that Washington has confirmed a one-on-one meeting between President Trump and Russian leader Vladi­mir Putin at noon on Dec. 1 at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina.

Trump had previously cast the Buenos Aires sit-down into doubt, telling The Washington Post he might cancel seeing Putin after Russia seized Ukrainian vessels and crew members over the weekend, sparking global condemnation and a sharp escalation in tensions between the neighbors.

"We are expecting the two presidents to speak briefly at first, but everything is left to the discretion of the heads of state," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"Washington has confirmed," he added.

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wave as they board Air Force One to depart for Argentina and the G20 Summit from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, U.S., November 29, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wave as they board Air Force One to depart for Argentina and the G20 Summit from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, U.S., November 29, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

As he left the White House on Thursday en route to Argentina, Trump told reporters: "I probably will be meeting with President Putin. We haven't terminated that meeting." He added that he would be getting a "finalized report" on Ukraine while on the plane.

Putin and Trump will discuss strategic security, bilateral relations, disarmament and regional conflicts, Peskov said. "This is in the interests of not only our two countries, but the world at large."

Following the Trump-Putin meeting on Saturday, American and Russian delegations will convene for talks that may last an hour, Peskov added.

The crisis between Russia and Ukraine has continued to deepen. Kiev is hoping Trump will push Putin on the confrontation, which began Sunday when Russia fired on Ukrainian ships trying to enter the Kerch Strait, a crucial waterway separating the Black and Azov seas.

But while Russia's maritime maneuvers have been sharply criticized by senior U.S. and Western officials, Trump has been more reticent on the issue. He stopped short of condemning Russia, instead saying, "I don't like that aggression."

Limited martial law in Ukraine is in place for 30 days, and Russia said Wednesday it was strengthening air defense and early warning radar systems on the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine four years ago.

The Kremlin also scoffed at an appeal by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for NATO to reinforce the Azov Sea with naval ships, saying this was yet another provocation by Kiev designed to further escalate the situation.

Kiev is banking on its Western allies to provide military support to contain Russia, which it says is preparing to invade its territory by land. The latest crisis threatens to significantly worsen the conflict. Fighting in eastern Ukraine between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces has resulted in the deaths of 10,300 people.

There have been widespread calls for Russia to immediately release 24 Ukrainian sailors it captured, and some European leaders have called for fresh sanctions against Russia.

But Russia, for the most part, has shrugged off Western pressure. Russia maintains that the crisis was created by Poroshenko for political gain. The deeply unpopular leader could seek reelection in a vote in March.

Natalia Abbakumova in Moscow and John Wagner in Washington contributed to this report.

Source: The Washington Post

For Infobae's complete coverage of the Group of 20 summit in Argentina: www.infobae.com/america/g20-summit-2018/

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