On Friday, the US President cancelled a planned meeting with Putin at the summit, citing the military tensions with Ukraine. The Trump administration accused Russia of non-compliance with the 31-year-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty following the shots fired at the Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait last week. Russia denies such allegations.
Despite tensions, the two leaders had a brief discussion at a cultural dinner in Buenos Aires for G20 summit leaders, which was closed off to the press.
Speaking to reporters after the G20 summit, Putin revealed what he told the American firebrand.
He said: “In a nutshell, I answered his questions about this incident in the Black Sea.
“He has his own position, I have my own position.
“We each stuck to our own views, but in any case I informed him about our perspective on this incident.”
Putin reiterated his view that the clash at the Kerch Strait was a “planned provocation”.
The “brief” meeting was also confirmed by the White House, with officials adding the two world leaders had an “informal conversation” at the G20 meeting.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement: “As is typical at multilateral events, President Trump and the First Lady had a number of informal conversations with world leaders at the dinner last night, including President Putin.”
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There had been suspicions Trump threatened to cancel his meeting with Putin because of developments in the special counsel’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Only after a few hours after Trump’s announcement, his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about a Trump Tower project in Moscow, fuelling new allegations into Russia’s role and the President.
Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said the gathering was cancelled “because the Russians behaved in a way that is deeply inconsistent with international law”.
He added: “The President wanted to send a clear, unambiguous message that we find that type of behaviour unacceptable, so we cancelled the meeting.”