President Trump has abruptly cancelled his planned meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, CNN reports.
The announcement came while the president was en route to Argentina, via twitter.
President Trump blamed the cancellation on the fallout after the incident in the Kerch Strait last weekend, when Russian ships rammed three Ukrainian vessels, injuring several sailors, and seizing the ships and 24 sailors. The incident resulted in the Ukrainian parliament voting to impose martial law on a portion of the country for 30 days, beginning November 28.
The announcement came shortly departing from the White House where Trump told reporters outside the White House that the sit down with Putin was probably still on, saying, “I probably will be meeting with President Putin. We haven’t terminated that meeting. I was thinking about it, but we haven’t.”
The cancellation also came shortly after the revelation of Michael Cohen, former personal attorney and “fixer” for President Trump, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about Trump’s real estate deal in Moscow. The plea deal, filed by special counsel Robert Mueller with the court on Thursday morning, refers to a letter written by Cohen in which he lied about his actions in the Moscow Project. President Trump is mentioned in the court filings as “Individual 1”.
CNBC reports that this cancellation does not mean that Trump and Putin will not speak nor does it mean members of the American and Russian delegations won’t speak. President Trump last met with Putin in Helsinki in July and drew heavy criticism for saying he believed Putin’s word over the US intelligence assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.