Russian President Vladimir Putin has revealed the content of his brief informal conversation with US President Trump at a cultural dinner in Buenos Aires for G20 summit leaders, an event which was closed off to the press.
"In a nutshell, I answered his questions about this incident in the Black Sea," Putin said, speaking to reporters at his post-summit press conference. "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," he added.
In addition to Trump, Putin spoke about the Kerch incident with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who arrived late at the summit due to aeroplane troubles. "The president gave an exhaustive explanation of the Black Sea border incident, illustrating it clearly. He even drew a map," Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitri Peskov said, recalling Putin's Saturday breakfast discussion with Merkel.
Trump cancelled his much-anticipated meeting with Putin at the last minute, tweeting the cancellation a little more than an hour after saying that the conversation was still on, and adding that the cancellation was related to the fact that Russia hasn't returned the Ukrainian ships and sailors detained following the Kerch Strait incident.
Putin expressed his disappointment with Trump's decision. "It's a pity we could not have a full-fledged meeting, because I believe it is long overdue. I'm talking about issues of strategic stability in light of the president's announcement that he plans to pull the US out of the INF Treaty," Putin said.
A day before the summit, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen admitted to lying to Congress about Trump's suspected business ties in Russia during the 2016 presidential race, fuelling new allegations in the Russiagate saga; the president is accused of having 'colluded' with Russia during his presidential campaign.
Russia detained three Ukrainian Navy vessels and their 24 crew members last Sunday after the ships violated Russia's maritime borders and engaged in dangerous manoeuvres around the Kerch Strait between Crimea and the Russian mainland, which are connected by 19 km bridge which was completed earlier this year.