Putin briefs Trump over Ukraine as EU leaders up pressure

US Canada and Mexico sign North American trade pact

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted to Wolf Blitzer today that President Donald Trump's decision to cancel his planned meeting with Vladimir Putin had nothing to do with the big Michael Cohen news.

"Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russian Federation, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in Argentina", Trump tweeted Thursday on Air Force One on his way to Buenos Aires.

"I find it very appropriate to have a meeting about Idlib even if it's for a short time", Erdo─čan said. "I hope that such a meeting will take place when the American side is ready for it", Putin said, adding that Russian Federation and United States need to conduct a dialog on such hard areas as the INF treaty and START-3, since "this is important for other countries as well".

The expert also added that "in essence, President Trump, I don't think he's ready as a leader to be able to cooperate with someone like Mr. Putin".

Poroshenko urged Moscow to return the boats and the sailors, whom he described as prisoners of war.

The Ukrainian border service said Saturday that around 100 Russian citizens had been denied entry since the border restrictions went into effect Friday.

He also denounced Ukraine's call to shut global ports for Russian vessels based in Crimea, calling the suggestion "a new edition of gunboat diplomacy".

The conflict pitting Russian separatists against Ukrainian government forces is estimated to have claimed more than 10,000 lives - one-third of them civilian - since it broke out four years ago.

The Ukrainian parliament supported a bill earlier this week imposing a martial law in certain regions for 30 days starting from Wednesday due to the tensions with Russian Federation in the Sea of Azov.




Putin also said that he spoke about the matter with several foreign leaders at the G-20 summit.

Western leaders have vocally criticized Russian Federation and called for the release of the Ukrainian sailors.

Trudeau says he raised his concerns during the G20 Summit about Russia's actions that resulted in the seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels near Crimea.

On November 25, three warships of the Ukrainian Navy violated the rules of passage through Russia's territorial waters while en route from the Black Sea to the Azov Sea.

The leaders met amid a global outcry over the death of a USA -based columnist who was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Cohen had previously said that talks about the deal stopped in January 2016, but has now said the discussions continued as late as June 2016, after Trump had secured enough support in the primaries to win the Republican Party's nomination to be US president.

In addition, the Russian leader expressed regret that he could not have a full-length meeting with Trump.

Her main focus, however, was on the situation in Ukraine. "We saw him trying to approach different leaders around the world simply because he thought that things in foreign policy are as simple as meeting someone, but what he does with those meetings and what he does with those kinds of approaches is a different story".

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