Trump says Putin meeting may be called off over ‘aggression’ against Ukraine

29 November, 2018, 04:23 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • Ukraine asks for NATO vessels in Sea of Azov over Russia standoff

The episode has raised fears in the West of a wider conflict between the two countries, and Trump said on Tuesday that he might cancel a planned meeting with Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina later this week as a response to "aggression".

Could Russia invade? The BBC asked Ukrainians what they think.

The statement by Ukrainian officials contradicts Russia's argument that it was chasing the ships because they were violating its territorial waters. "It is introduced with the sole objective of boosting Ukraine's defense in the light of a growing aggression from Russian Federation".

President Poroshenko said martial law will help "strengthen Ukraine's defense capabilities amid increasing aggression and according to global law, a cold act of aggression by the Russian Federation".

Trump told The Washington Post he was waiting for a "full report" from his national-security team about the incident.

The Ukrainian Parliament approved the introduction of martial law after Poroshenko reassured some skeptical lawmakers that it would not be used to curb civil liberties or delay elections scheduled for next year.

Putin laid the blame on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, saying that he ordered the navy to provoke the standoff with the sole goal of scoring political points and getting re-elected next year.

The Russian president said it seemed like Kiev could get away with anything as far as foreign nations supporting Ukraine's anti-Russian stance were concerned.

The Ukrainian parliament voted late on November 26 to impose martial law for 30 days in the provinces that President Petro Poroshenko said are the most vulnerable to "aggression from Russian Federation".

More news: Trump tariff talk pushes dollar to near two-week highs

Britain, Canada, France, Germany and others expressed support for Kiev on Monday, with EU President Donald Tusk calling for Russian Federation to return the Ukrainian sailors and ships and "refrain from further provocations".

Some of the sailors will face trial in Simferopol - the main city in Russian-annexed Crimea - on Tuesday, the peninsula's human rights ombudsman Lyudmila Lubina told AFP.

Both countries said at an in camera session of European diplomats in Brussels that now it is necessary to develop "measures to consolidate confidence".

The European Union has already rejected Russia's 2014 annexation of the Ukrainian region of Crimea and, along with the United States, imposed wide-ranging economic sanctions created to force Moscow to back down.

The European Union was "dismayed" by Russia's use of force against Ukrainian naval vessels in the Kerch Strait, calling the incident "unacceptable".

Later on the show, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said Trump should cancel the meeting, but if it does happen, Trump must be careful not to appear as Putin's "friend".

He said he hoped Berlin could intervene with Ukrainian authorities "to dissuade them from further reckless acts".

U.S. authorities, however, believe that there was "no conceivable justification. for the use of force in this scenario".

Trump says: "I don't like that aggression".

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