Trump Caves to Russophobes, Cancels G20 Meeting with Putin
By Stephen Lendman
Global Research, November 30, 2018

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Let’s see if I’ve got this straight. US-installed Ukrainian putschist leader, in cahoot with US and UK Russophobes, staged last Sunday’s anti-Russia provocation in the Black Sea’s Kerch Strait, Russian waters.

Entering them without permission violates Articles 19 and 21 of the UN Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) – an indisputable breach of international law, along with violating 2003 Russia/Ukraine treaty-defined rules, relating to Kerch Strait freedom of navigation rights and obligations.

Requesting and receiving permission to sail through the strait is required, Russian waters between the Crimean Republic and Russian Federation mainland.

Putin said there were “clear signs of a provocation prepared in advance” by Kiev…“a pretext to impose martial law in the country” for domestic political purposes.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova blasted Kiev, calling Sunday’s action “a deliberate provocation. I don’t have any doubts that some of our Western partners (sic) knew about it, or even participated in planning it. This is why all of this is not accidental.”

She’s right about Western involvement, most likely US and UK hardliners.

Hours earlier Thursday, Putin’s meeting with Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires was confirmed.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced what the White House confirmed, saying talks will focus on “bilateral relations, on matters of strategic security and disarmament, and on regional conflicts” – namely Syria and Ukraine, adding:

“We don’t have to agree on all issues, which is probably impossible, but we need to talk. It’s in the interests of not only our two countries, it’s in the interests of the whole world.”

The meeting was scheduled for around noon on Saturday, December 1, at the Buenos Aires Park Hyatt, Peskov saying it would “last about an hour.”

No longer. It’s cancelled. An hour after Trump on Thursday said it’s a “very good time” to meet with Putin in Argentina, he tweeted:

“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. I look forward to a meaningful summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!”

Peskov wasn’t informed of the change, he said, adding the cancellation will give Putin more time to meet with other world leaders.

Russophobes succeeded in cancelling the planned meeting by both leaders at the G20 to discuss vital issues, going all-out to prevent improved bilateral relations.

Trump’s key meeting is with China’s Xi Jinping. A possible trade war showdown looms. Reportedly, a joint press conference and statement won’t follow their discussion, each nation issuing its own, Trump likely to comment via Twitter.

According to Hong Kong-based Lawrence Lau, both leaders are likely to declare a temporary truce in the form of a “framework agreement,” details to follow later.

China policy analyst Eleanor Olcott disagreed, saying

“hopes for this meeting providing an off-ramp for the trade conflict should not be overstated.”

Major bilateral differences “cannot be solved over” dinner. It’s unclear how long their meeting will last or precisely what will be discussed.

Months of talks produced no breakthroughs. A previous article said perhaps the best to hope for is a reprieve so further talks on major unresolved issues can continue in the new year.

Trump blew it by caving to neocon hardliners, unacceptably agreeing to snub Putin in Argentina after both leaders agreed to meet.

Anything close to insulting Xi a similar way would turn this year’s G20 into a disastrous fiasco, his hubris and arrogance on display before key world leaders.

It would be more evidence that he can never be trusted, what’s already well known, along with his geopolitical incompetence.


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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Visit his blog site at

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.