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Diplomat comments on Trump’s decision to cancel meeting with Putin

November 30, 2018, 13:10 UTC+3

Putin and Trump were scheduled to hold talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina

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US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump

© AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

MOSCOW, November 30. /TASS/. The domestic political situation in the US is the true reason behind US President Donald Trump’s decision to call off his meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Friday.

"Was Ukraine’s provocation in the Kerch Strait the true reason for the cancellation? We have heard the official explanation and taken note of it," she said. "But is it true? I think the true reason is rooted in the domestic political situation in the United States, which is crucial for decision-making," Zakharova added.

Putin and Trump were scheduled to hold talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina on December 1. It would have been their fifth personal meeting. However, on Thursday, Trump cancelled the meeting, citing the Kerch Strait incident.

Kerch Strait incident

On November 25, three Ukrainian navy ships illegally crossed Russia’s border and tried to carry out some illegal actions in Russian territorial waters later in the day. They ignored legitimate demands to stop issued by vessels belonging to the FSB Border Service and the Black Sea Fleet and continued maneuvering dangerously. In order to stop the Ukrainian ships, weapons had to be used. The three vessels were detained in Russian territorial waters. Three Ukrainian military servicemen suffered light wounds and were provided with medical assistance. A criminal investigation has been opened into the border incident.

Moscow branded Kiev's stunt in the Kerch Strait as a dangerous provocation, while the European Union and NATO called for a de-escalation of tensions, while Kiev declared a 30-day martial law.

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