MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin is unruffled by the refusal of U.S. President Donald Trump to have a meeting on the sidelines of the weekend Group of 20 summit, the Kremlin insisted Tuesday.
The two leaders had been scheduled to have talks during the summit in Buenos Aires but Trump abruptly canceled the encounter following Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crews.
Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said the Russian leader didn’t feel insulted, but added that the Kremlin regrets the cancellation in view of the numerous issues that require discussion.
“No, we didn’t feel hurt, but we express our regret,” he told reporters.
Ushakov noted that Putin and Trump spoke informally for about 10-15 minutes during a G-20 dinner, discussing the Nov. 25 naval incident and the broader situation in Ukraine.
He added that the possibility of Putin’s future trip to Washington wasn’t discussed.
Russia-U.S. ties have sunk to post-Cold War lows over the Ukrainian crisis, the war in Syria, the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other irritants.
Ushakov pointed out that Moscow and Washington maintained a dialogue even at the height of the Cold War.
“That didn’t impede having a serious talk and achieving serious results in the strategic stability and security sphere,” he said.
Ushakov said that it’s up to Washington to organize a possible future meeting.
“The Russian side is ready for dialogue and considers the high-level contact very important, but we aren’t going to beg the U.S. side and obtrude,” he said. “Now everything depends on the Americans.”