President Donald Trump left Washington D.C. on Thursday for the G-20 economic summit set to take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina from Nov. 30 – Dec. 1. The American president had been tentatively scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the summit.
But now it looks like Trump won’t be meeting with Putin after all, as revealed by the president’s tweets sent out shortly after Air Force One lifted off for the long flight south.
Trump, in a two-part tweet Thursday morning, announced, “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 Vladimir Putin. I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!”
….in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin. I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2018
The president was referencing a recent confrontation between Russian and Ukrainian naval ships off the coast of Crimea, a formerly Ukrainian territory that was seized and claimed in 2014 by Russia.
Trump’s cancellation of the planned sideline meeting with Putin over the Ukrainian situation was not entirely unexpected, as the president had hinted he was considering such action in remarks to the media on Tuesday, as reported by RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty.
In an interview with reporters for The Washington Post, Trump said he was still awaiting a “full report” from his national security team about the Nov. 25 incident that resulted in Russia taking captive the crews of three Ukrainian vessels.
“That will be very determinative,” Trump said of the imminent report.
With respect to the scheduled meeting with Putin, Trump added, “Maybe I won’t even have the meeting … I don’t like that aggression. I don’t want that aggression at all.”
Ongoing Russia/Ukraine conflict
It had been expected that Trump and Putin would discuss such issues as arms control and the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Ukraine at the meeting, though they surely would have touched on other topics as well, such as energy production and trade.
However, given Russia’s overtly aggressive action toward Ukraine in the past few days, it seems unlikely that an objective and dispassionate discussion of the conflict could be accomplished.
Despite all of the “Trump/Russia” insanity from the liberal media over the past two years, President Trump has made it abundantly clear that he stands alongside Ukraine in their defiance of Russian efforts to annex parts of their sovereign territory, even supplying the former Soviet satellite state with lethal weapons and other supplies to support their defensive stance.
Trump made the right call to cancel the meeting between himself and Putin at the G-20 meeting, as continuing with that meeting at this time would have been viewed as tacit approval of their recent behavior, which has been widely condemned as unacceptable.