MOSCOW – Preparation was underway for a meeting between the presidents of Russia and the United States on the sidelines of an upcoming G20 summit in Argentina despite the US side suggesting such a meeting may not take place, a spokesperson for the Russia government said on Wednesday.
Donald Trump told The Washington Post on Tuesday he might cancel a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, amid rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine over a naval incident in the Kerch Strait that saw Russian special forces firing on and then capturing three Ukrainian vessels.
“Preparation is continuing, the meeting has been agreed,” said Dmitry Peskov. “We have no other information from our American counterparts.”
Trump had said “maybe I won’t have the meeting (with Putin). Maybe I won’t even have the meeting. I don’t like that aggression.”
The president said he was waiting for a “full report” from his national security team on Sunday’s naval incident.
Trump and Putin were scheduled to meet in Buenos Aires, where both leaders would be attending a summit of G20 leaders on Friday and Saturday, which would be the first such bilateral meeting between the pair since June in Helsinki.
Moscow claims the Ukrainian boats entered Russian waters unlawfully on Sunday.
Ukraine state their boats were seized illegally after the Russian coastguard ship blocked the Kerch Strait.
Russia annexed Crimea – which has a majority ethnic Russian populace – in 2014 following the Ukrainian revolution; although Kiev maintains the peninsula remains part of its territory.