Kremlin expects Putin-Trump meeting despite Ukraine crisis

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The Kremlin on Wednesday said it expects
a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump to go ahead later this
week, despite the US leader saying he may cancel it over Russia’s seizure of
three Ukrainian ships.

“The preparations (for the meeting) are continuing. The meeting is agreed.
We don’t have any different information from our American colleagues,”
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during a daily briefing.

In a sign that the Kremlin remains hopeful, Peskov said Moscow “paid
attention” to a White House spokesman’s briefing on Tuesday.

“It was said that Trump is planning a range of meetings, including with
Putin,” Peskov said.

The pair is scheduled to meet at the G20 summit in Argentina at the end of
this week.

But Trump said late Tuesday that he was waiting for a report from national
security advisors on a weekend clash at sea between Russia and Ukraine to
decide if he will cancel the meeting.

“That will be very determinative. Maybe I won’t have the meeting. Maybe I
won’t even have the meeting,” Trump said.

On Sunday, Russian forces fired on, boarded and captured three of Kiev’s
ships off the coast of Crimea, sparking the most dangerous crisis between the
ex-Soviet neighbours in years.