Published: Thu, November 29, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Poroshenko asks Trump to convey his message to Putin

Poroshenko asks Trump to convey his message to Putin

Wednesday's announcement came with Moscow and Kiev embroiled in their biggest crisis in years, after Russian border patrol boats seized three Ukrainian naval vessels off the coast of Crimea on Sunday.

The Kremlin said on Wednesday that Washington had not informed Moscow that a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina this month was canceled and that it was still being prepared.

The 10 provinces all border Russia or Moldova's breakaway Transdniester region, where Russian troops are stationed, or have coastlines on the Black Sea or the Sea of Azov close to Crimea.

"I$3 just don't believe that President Trump is capable on these one-on-one meetings of conveying any form of criticism or setting any sort of boundaries", Merkley added.

The president told reporters that he is still waiting on a full report from his national security team on this incident before deciding whether to meet with Putin. "It was used as a pretext to introduce martial law".

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On Sunday, Russia seized three Ukrainian naval ships after they tried to enter the Kerch Strait, now controlled by Moscow.

The two leaders' last meeting in Finland in July ended in a freakish press conference in which Trump appeared to accept Putin's denials of Russian interference in United States elections, prompting widespread criticism from across the political spectrum back home and increased scrutiny on the upcoming talks in Buenos Aires.

All of the sailors face jail terms of up to six years if found guilty of what Moscow says was a plot to illegally cross the Russian border by trying to pass through the Russian-controlled Kerch Strait on Sunday without notice and ignoring calls to stop.

Ukraine's foreign ministry on Wednesday said it had sent Moscow a diplomatic note in protest at the "illegal" detention of 24 of its sailors. "They're not thrilled. We're all working on it together", he said.

The Russian military is boosting the defense of the occupied Crimean peninsula with more anti-aircraft missiles in the wake of the weekend standoff with Ukrainian vessels in the Black Sea.

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The Ukrainian parliament on Monday voted in favour of Poroshenko's request for the introduction of martial law in border areas for 30 days.

Russian Federation and Ukraine blamed each other in the dispute that further ratcheted up tensions ever since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014 and threw its weight behind separatists in eastern Ukraine with clandestine support, including troops and weapons.

Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said on November 28 that "preparations are continuing, the meeting was agreed".

Austria, which now holds the rotating European Union presidency, has said the bloc will consider further sanctions against the Kremlin at an upcoming meeting. "Maybe I won't even have the meeting", he told the Washington Post on Tuesday.

"Perhaps we can break through in Buenos Aires or not", he said.

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