Kremlin says it still expects Putin-Trump summit to go ahead

Kremlin says it still expects Putin-Trump summit to go ahead

Kremlin says it still expects Putin-Trump summit to go ahead

"It was organized by the president [Poroshenko] ahead of the elections" scheduled for March, he said, adding that Poroshenko is "is in fifth place, ratings-wise, and therefore had to do something".

Several senior European politicians on Tuesday raised the possibility of new sanctions against Russian Federation to punish it for capturing three Ukrainian vessels at sea, an incident the West fears could ignite a wider conflict.

Putin said the West was willing to forgive Ukrainian politicians because it bought into their anti-Russian narrative.

Russian ships rammed a Ukrainian tugboat and fired on two Ukrainian gunboats in the Sea of Azov on Sunday, causing tensions between Russia and Ukraine to reach levels not seen since Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Putin said that the incident was provoked by Ukrainian ships, who refused to communicate with the Russian border guards, AP reported.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday that the meeting was on and that Russian Federation has not received "any other information from our U.S. counterparts".

President Poroshenko has implemented martial law across Ukraine's border regions for 30 days in response to the crisis. That is why Poroshenko claims that his country is threatened with a "total war" with Moscow.

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Russian Federation has steadily poured new military hardware into Crimea since it annexed it from Ukraine in 2014.

Moscow later backed pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine in a conflict in which more than 10,000 people have been killed. "I count on the United States, I count on the American people", Poroshenko said.

Russia's Southern Military District spokesman Vadim Astafyev told Interfax on Wednesday that a fourth S-400 battalion would soon be deployed in Crimea near Djankoy, a small town near the "border" with Ukraine. This message reads: "Please leave Ukraine, Mr. Putin".

Russian servicemen drive S-400 missile air defence systems during the Victory Day parade, marking the 73rd anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, at Red Square in Moscow, Russia May 9, 2018. Moscow also captured 24 Ukrainian sailors.

On a recent trip to Ukrainian towns and villages by the Sea of Azov earlier this month, we saw how the situation on land has settled into a relative calm; both sides have dug in and fortified the front line.

Ukraine, which claims its vessels were operating in global waters when they were fired upon, boarded and seized, released data on the exact location of the ships to back that claim.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday that Russia's attack upon and seizure of three Ukrainian ships violated global law and shows that Moscow can't be trusted.

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