Russia: Trump canceled Putin meeting over 'domestic political situation

Russia: Trump canceled Putin meeting over 'domestic political situation
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Russian officials cast doubt on President Trump's official reason for canceling a planned bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in statements Friday blaming the "US domestic political situation” for Trump's decision to not meet with Putin.
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia's foreign ministry, said Friday that there was reason to doubt the Trump administration's given reason of rising tensions between Russia and Ukrainian forces along the border of Crimea as the explanation for the cancellation, according to CNN.
“Was the provocation organized by Kiev in this region the real reason for cancellation?” Zakharova said in a press conference first reported by Russian news agency RIA Novosti. “Publicly, we heard just such an explanation, we took note of it. Is this a reality?"
"I think that you still need to look for answers in the US domestic political situation," she added.
Trump wrote Thursday on Twitter that he hoped for a "meaningful" summit with his Russian counterpart once Russia took steps to return Ukrainian vessels and sailors recently seized by Russian naval forces along disputed naval territory.
“Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin,” Trump tweeted en route to the G20 summit in Argentina.
The two leaders could schedule “a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!” Trump added.
News of his plans to cancel the summit came amid reports that Michael Cohen, the president's longtime attorney, had plead guilty to lying to Congress in an effort to minimize Trump's connections to Russia in the hopes of deterring investigations into the Trump campaign.
Just hours earlier, Trump had called this week's G20 summit a "very good time" to meet with the Russian leader, and suggested to reporters that the meeting would go on as planned.
“I probably will be meeting with President Putin. We haven't terminated that meeting. I was thinking about it, but we haven't. They'd like to have it,” the president said earlier Thursday before the abrupt cancellation.