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Vladimir Putin says he hasn’t even talked to Ukraine about releasing its detained sailors

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday there had been no discussion with Ukraine about the possible release of the Ukrainian sailors who were seized along with their ships by Russia last month.

Putin spoke with reporters on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Buenos Aires. Russia is resisting international calls to release three Ukrainian naval ships that its border patrols fired upon and seized in the strait near Russian-annexed Crimea last weekend.

Moscow accused the 24 sailors of illegally crossing the Russian border.

Putin said he would not introduce tit-for-tat restrictions on the entry of Ukrainians into Russia after Kiev imposed a ban on Russian males aged 16 to 60 from entering its territory.

After U.S. President Donald Trump canceled a planned meeting with Putin at the G20 summit, citing the military tensions with Ukraine, the Russian leader said there were no pre-conditions for future bilateral talks.

“It is regrettable that we can’t succeed in holding a full-scale meeting, which is long due,” Putin said, adding that issues of strategic stability would be of paramount importance.

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Putin and Trump had a brief meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit on Friday, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said.

Trump’s administration has accused Russia of non-compliance with the 31-year-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty and has said it will pull out of the deal as a result. The Kremlin denies violating the pact.

“This is related to the issues of strategic stability, especially after the president declared his desire to withdraw from the INF missile treaty,” Putin added.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Will Dunham

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Meet the mysterious conservative lawyer who keeps turning up in the Russia probes

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A prominent conservative lawyer keeps showing up in dramas central to the Trump administration and its battles with Congress—and it turns out he has intimate knowledge of Felix Sater’s intelligence work for the U.S. government while he was working with Trump.

The Moscow-born Sater is the financial criminal and violent felon who worked closely with Trump for years while simultaneously serving as a long-term informant for the FBI and other national security agencies.

In 2015 and into mid-2016, Sater pushed for the development of a Trump Tower in Moscow with his old friend Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime fixer, while trying to enlist support from the Russian government for Trump’s campaign.

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House Democrats have a new list of ‘star witnesses’ who are beyond Trump’s reach: report

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According to a report from Politico, House leaders have developed a new plan to get what are called "star witnesses" to appear in public hearings who are outside of Donald Trump's ability to block them from speaking by asserting executive privilege.

With former Oval Office employees avoiding or ignoring subpoenas as the White House runs interference for them, investigators are eyeing people who were close to Donald Trump's 2016 campaign -- but were not government employees.

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How the Iraq war and the Great Recession of 2008 paved the way for the Trump catastrophe

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In my dream, it’s 2021. Donald Trump has lost by the biggest popular vote margin in history. (The Electoral College? Unanimous!) Criminal charges rain down on him. As squad cars ring Trump Tower, a nasal voice shouts, “Come and get me, dirty coppers!” From a bullhorn, the reply issues: “Come out with your tiny hands in the air!”

Nancy Pelosi must have dreams just like it. “Sources” say she seeks to quell impeachment by declaring she’d rather see Trump in jail. Who wouldn’t? But would the next batch of Barrs, Muellers and Rosensteins be any more likely than the last to get the job done? It’s a sweet dream, but a risky bet.

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