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Trump seeks meeting with Putin after Kerch Strait incident is resolved — official

December 05, 2018, 9:25 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

Putin and Trump were expected to hold talks on the sidelines of last week’s G20 summit in Buenos Aires

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WASHINGTON, December 5. /TASS/. US President Donald Trump expects to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the Kerch Strait standoff is resolved, a high-ranking official in the US administration told TASS, commenting on cancelled talks between the two leaders at the G20 summit in Argentina.

"The reason for cancelling the meeting on the G20 sidelines is Russia’s detention of Ukrainian vessels and their crew members. Russia did not free them in order to de-escalate the situation. As President Trump has already said, he expects that the meeting will be held after the situation is resolved," the official said.

Kremlin Aide Yury Ushakov told reporters on Tuesday that Trump’s decision to cancel a meeting with Putin did not insult the Russian leader, but caused regret. Ushakov recalled that the two countries had quite a few issues worth discussing, including those in the field of security. He emphasized that Moscow was prepared for continuing dialogue with Washington.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier told reporters that Putin’s possible meeting with his US counterpart in Washington was out of question in the current situation, adding that the best option would be a meeting on the sidelines of an international summit. The next G20 meeting will be held in Japan’s Osaka in June 2019, but this is "an untenable pause both for our bilateral relations and for international security and stability," he noted.

Putin and Trump were expected to hold talks on the sidelines of last week’s G20 summit in Buenos Aires . However, while on the way to Argentina’s capital the US president tweeted that he had decided to cancel the meeting with the Russian leader over the recent Kerch Strait incident. This Trump’s step ran counter to his earlier statement, which he had made less than an hour before the tweet.

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