Kremlin Says Trump-Putin Meeting Still Being Prepared Despite Trump’s Remark

Arturo Kim
November 29, 2018

Trump said Tuesday that he may cancel the sit-down with Putin at the G-20 meeting in Argentina following Russia's seizure of the three Ukrainian ships last weekend.

The leaders of Western countries are not moving fast in taking action to respond to Russia's latest acts of aggression against Ukraine, in the wake of the November 25 attacks on boats belonging to the Ukrainian navy on the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait that connects to the Azov Sea.

Ukraine has also blamed the Kremlin for separatist violence in eastern Ukraine, near the border with Russian Federation.

Putin charged that the Ukrainian ships "intruded into Russian territorial waters and did not answer" repeated calls from the Russian coast guard to leave the area.

On Monday, Ukraine's government announced that it would declare martial law in 10 of the regions that are believed to be at risk of a Russian military invasion. "I didn't like the incident and we're getting a report on what's going on", Trump told The Post during a 36-minute Oval Office interview. "The current president immediately provokes the imposition of martial law, and this means only one thing - this means that the incident itself was provoked to impose martial law".

"That was a provocation which was certainly organized by the sitting officials, including the president, " ahead of Ukraine's presidential election in March, Putin said.

President Putin has lashed at Ukraine over its imposition of martial law, depicting it as a cynical pre-election ploy by the country's unpopular president while also mocking western countries over their "short-sighted" support for Kiev.

After warning of the threat of "full-scale war", Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday signed an act imposing martial law for 30 days in regions bordering Russian Federation, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

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Captured Ukrainian navy sailors are conveyed to Kiev district court of Simferopol, Crimea.

On a recent trip to Ukrainian towns and villages by the Sea of Azov earlier this month, we saw how the situation on land has settled into a relative calm; both sides have dug in and fortified the front line.

"We don't have any other information from [U.S. officials]", he said when asked about Trump's comments.

Citing sources in Ukraine's ruling circles, Russia's Izvestia newspaper reported that Kiev had been trying to persuade Washington - so far unsuccessfully - to open a military base in Ukraine.

Ukraine will defend itself militarily if it has to against "Russian aggression" along the country's coastline in the sea of Azov, the country's foreign minister has told Sky News.

Later on the show, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said Trump should cancel the meeting, but if it does happen, Trump must be careful not to appear as Putin's "friend".

"I'm convinced that there was a deliberate provocation by Russian forces in order to provoke Ukraine for more active measures, similar to what they did in Georgia in 2008".

Ukraine has imposed martial law in response to the armed confrontation, which it says is another in a string of acts of aggression.

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