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Trump cancels meeting with Putin at G20 over Russia's seizure of Ukrainian ships

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russiaian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. Trump cancelled a meeting with Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina because of Russia's seizure of three Ukrainian ships. (ALEXEY NIKOLSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump announced that he had cancelled his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin over Russia's seizure of three Ukrainian ships.

What happened with Ukraine?

On Sunday, the Russian military seized two Ukrainian naval artillery boats and a naval tug boat. The ships had been trying to pass through the Kerch Strait, the only route between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

The strait had previously been designated as a shared region that both nations were free to access, but since Russia annexed Crimea it had claimed sole control of the strait. In response, Ukraine has declared martial law and placed restrictions on foreigners crossing from Ukraine into Crimea.

What did Trump say?

In a tweet Thursday, Trump said that since the “ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia” he had “decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel” the meeting he had scheduled with Putin.

Putin's team raised questions about whether Trump had officially cancelled with Putin before announcing that he had. Following these tweets, Putin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said in a statement, “We've only seen the tweet and reports. We don't have any official information. If that's the case, the president will have a couple extra hours in his schedule for useful meetings.”

The G20 summit will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this year. In addition to the United States and Russia, the summit will include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. Among them, these nations make up 86 percent of the world's economy.

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