President Vladimir Putin insisted Wednesday that Russian forces were in the right to seize three Ukrainian ships last weekend, but President Donald Trump expressed "deep concern" at Moscow's actions against a U.S. ally.
But barely an hour later, while aboard Air Force One en route to Argentina, Trump changed his mind again, tweeting that he'd called off the Putin sit-down "based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russian Federation". "I look forward to a meaningful Summit again soon as this situation is resolved", he wrote.
Trump had been scheduled to hold a two hour meeting here with Putin despite intense criticism in the United States and among North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies following Moscow's seizure Sunday of the three Ukrainian vessels and their crews in the Kerch Strait as they tried to make their way to the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, in the Sea of Azov.
The White House on Tuesday warned Xi against trying to wait out Trump in the ongoing talks, suggesting the Chinese economy was not as resilient to a trade war as the US economy.
Western governments have rallied behind Kiev, accusing Russian Federation of illegally blocking access to the Sea of Azov, used by both countries, and of using force without justification.
Russian Federation was also working on a new technical system to allow it to better track shipping around the peninsula in order to protect its maritime borders, Interfax said.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, he said that while China was interested in striking a deal, "I don't know if I want to do it" and "I like the deal we have now".
Moscow and Kiev blame each other for the Black Sea incident, which took place off Russian-annexed Crimea.
On Wednesday, the European Union expressed its "utmost concern about the risky increase of tensions" in the Kerch Strait and Azov Sea and called for the "utmost restraint to de-escalate the situation immediately", as well as the swift release of the seized Ukrainian ships and crew.
A decade on, that unity has vanished, as the "America First" Trump shreds the consensus underpinning worldwide trade, and other G20 countries such as Brazil, Italy, and Mexico turn to populist leaders.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, however, said that the White House had confirmed the meeting and laid out the Presidents' agenda. Ukraine insisted its vessels abided by maritime laws.
The United States and its allies later condemned the move at the United Nations.
"It's a mistake to assume that the Russian side needs this meeting more..." Russia has denied supporting the pro-Russian insurgency and has maintained that Crimea voted to join Russia as part of a legitimate referendum. "That also means stopping the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project".
There have been some calls among European Union members for tougher sanctions against Russian Federation following the Kerch Strait incident.
Minutes after telling reporters at the White House that the meeting was still on, Trump made the announcement via Twitter while traveling to the Group of Twenty summit in Argentina.