Trump cancels talks with Putin at G20 over Crimea tensions

AIR FORCE ONE – U.S. President Donald Trump Thursday shocked the world as he announced he would not be meeting one-on-one with his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin during the G-20 Summit in Buenos Aires due to the escalating military crisis in Crimea.

Trump posted on his Twitter account while aboard Air Force One a message which contradicted his previous entry barely 40 minutes earlier, when he said the meeting was going to happen.

“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!” said Trump.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the POTUS made the decision to cancel while aboard Air Force One before take-off from Washington to Buenos Aires.

He made the decision after speaking with secretary of state Mike Pompeo and White House chief of staff John Kelly. Mr Trump also called national security adviser John Bolton while on board, she said.

Ms Sanders said that the US and Russian governments had exchanged phone calls.

She told reporters travelling with Mr Trump on Air Force one that he will speak informally with the leaders of Turkey and South Korea at the summit, rather than in formal meetings.

She did not say why the meetings with Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Moon Jae-in had been downgraded.

World leaders fly to Buenos Aires for G20, but little consensus for a final declaration

Meanwhile, in Moscow, Kremlin Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it has not yet received any official information on the cancellation of the scheduled meeting between the two presidents, and denied Putin was to call off his trip.

“We are flying to Argentina. So far, we have only seen the tweet and the media [on Trump cancelling the meeting with Putin]. We have no official information,” the Kremlin spokesman noted.

Trump’s move casts new uncertainty over US-Russian ties.