President Donald Trump threatened to cancel his planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin over ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, in an interview with The Washington Post.
“Maybe I won’t have the meeting. Maybe I won’t even have the meeting … I don’t like that aggression. I don’t want that aggression at all,” Trump declared, adding that he was awaiting a report on the full incident from his national security team.
Trump’s comments come after Russia opened fire on a Ukrainian vessel at sea in disputed waters, wounding three sailors. Russia subsequently seized three Ukrainian ships in the area and claimed that the vessels were in violation of its territory.
Russia, Ukraine and the West have been engaged in a years-long conflict over the Crimean Peninsula. Russia claimed to annex the Ukrainian territory in 2014, drawing widespread criticism for violating flagrantly violating international norms. Significant western sanctions have been placed on Russia for the annexation.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley offered staunch criticism of Russia before the security council Monday saying, “The United States would welcome a normal relationship with Russia, but outlaw actions like this one continue to make that impossible.”
Trump also spoke briefly about the incident Monday while departing for a campaign rally telling reporters it is “not good.”
“We’re not happy about it at all,” he said. “We do not like what’s happening either way.”