U.S. President Donald Trump told media on Tuesday that he would consider canceling his scheduled meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, citing the ongoing Ukraine-Russia confrontation near the Kerch Strait that separates the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
So far, there is no comment from the Russian side on Trump’s remarks, but Moscow has said its activities in the region is legitimate.
In an interview with The Washington Post at the White House, Trump said he was awaiting a “full report” from his national security team Tuesday evening about Russia’s alleged capture of three Ukrainian naval ships and their crews in the Black Sea on Sunday.
“That will be very determinative,” Trump was quoted as 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.”
The remarks came after Trump’s restraint statement on Monday that he hopes the current confrontation between Ukraine and Russia could get “straightened out.”
Before the interview was published, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said earlier on Tuesday at a White House press briefing that Trump, during his stay in Argentina, will meet many foreign leaders, including Putin.
The two presidents will discuss “all of the issues that we have on security issues, on arms control issues, on regional issues including the Middle East,” he said. “I think it’ll be a full agenda. I think it’ll be a continuation of their discussion in Helsinki.”