Trump Cancels Meeting With Putin Over Ukraine Tensions

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump canceled a planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin over his government’s firing upon and seizing of Ukrainian vessels in a Thursday tweet aboard Air Force One.

Trump told reporters only an hour before his tweets that he may still have the meeting with Putin but was awaiting a full briefing aboard Air Force One on the situation. (RELATED: Trump Threatens To Cancel Putin Meeting After Ukraine Incidents)

The president noted to the Washington Post on Monday he may cancel the meeting, saying, “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.”

Russia opened fire on a Ukrainian vessel at sea in disputed waters Sunday, wounding three sailors. Russia subsequently seized three Ukrainian ships in the area and claimed that the vessels were in violation of its territory.

A picture taken near Urzuf village not far from the city of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine on November 29, 2018 shows Ukrainian tanks during military drills. – Ukraine’s president imposed martial law in border regions on November 28, 2018 for 30 days in 10 regions bordering Russia, the Black Sea and the Azov Sea, after Russian forces seized three of Kiev’s ships off the coast of Crimea on November 25, sparking the most dangerous crisis between the ex-Soviet neighbours in years. (Photo by Sega VOLSKII / AFP) (Photo credit should read SEGA VOLSKII/AFP/Getty Images)

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.”

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is pictured with a horse during his vacation outside the town of Kyzyl in Southern Siberia on August 3, 2009. AFP PHOTO / RIA-NOVOSTI / ALEXEY DRUZHININ (Photo credit should read ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images)

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