White House

Kremlin Surprised by Abrupt Cancellation of Trump–Putin Meeting

Russian President Vladimir Putin during a ceremony to mark the completion of the TurkStream gas pipeline, in Istanbul, Turkey, November 19, 2018 (Murad Sezer/Reuters )

The Kremlin was caught off guard by President Trump’s sudden cancellation of a planned meeting between with Russian president Vladimir Putin, Russian state news agencies said Thursday.

Trump had planned to sit down with Putin at the G-20 summit in Argentina, but canceled the meeting in a tweet Thursday, citing Russia’s Sunday capture of three Ukrainian ships and 24 sailors.

“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,” Trump wrote.

On Sunday, Russian and Ukrainian forces clashed off the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. Russian border guards opened fire on three Ukrainian ships and captured their crews as they sailed in the Sea of Azov, which is shared by the two nations. Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has asked for NATO ships to be sent to the region to “provide security.”

“Foreign military ships entered Russia’s territorial waters without responding to any requests made by our border guards. Therefore, all actions were taken in strict compliance with the law,” Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said of the incident.

The cancellation means the Russian president will have “a couple of more hours” for “useful meetings” with other leaders, Peskov was quoted as saying Thursday.

Putin and his delegation are already on their way to Argentina, Russian news services said.

Most Popular


Kamala Harris Runs for Queen

I’m going to let you in on a secret about the 2020 presidential contest: Unless unforeseen circumstances lead to a true wave election, the legislative stakes will be extremely low. The odds are heavily stacked against Democrats’ retaking the Senate, and that means that even if a Democrat wins the White House, ... Read More

What We’ve Learned about Jussie Smollett

It’s been a few weeks since March 26, when all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and the actor declared that his version of events had been proven correct. How’s that going? Smollett’s celebrity defenders have gone quiet. His publicists and lawyers are dodging reporters. The @StandwithJussie ... Read More
Energy & Environment

The Climate Trap for Democrats

The more the climate debate changes, the more it stays the same. Polls show that the public is worried about climate change, but that doesn’t mean that it is any more ready to bear any burden or pay any price to combat it. If President Donald Trump claws his way to victory again in Pennsylvania and the ... Read More
White House

Sarah Sanders to Resign at End of June

Sarah Huckabee Sanders will resign from her position as White House press secretary at the end of the month, President Trump announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon. Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, succeeded Sean ... Read More
Politics & Policy

But Why Is Guatemala Hungry?

I really, really don’t want to be on the “Nicolas Kristof Wrote Something Dumb” beat, but, Jiminy Cricket! Kristof has taken a trip to Guatemala, with a young woman from Arizona State University in tow. “My annual win-a-trip journey,” he writes. Reporting from Guatemala, he discovers that many ... Read More
Politics & Policy

On Painting Air Force One

And so it has come to this. Two oil tankers were just attacked in the Gulf of Oman, presumably by Iran. The United States and China are facing off in a confrontation that is about far more than trade. The southern border remains anarchic and uncontrolled. And Congress is asking: “Can I get the icon in ... Read More