A meeting between US President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin will take place at this week's G20 summit as planned, the Kremlin said on Thursday, despite US threats to cancel over Moscow's tensions with Ukraine.
President Vladimir Putin insisted Wednesday that Russian forces were in the right to seize three Ukrainian ships last weekend, but President Donald Trump expressed "deep concern" at Moscow's actions against a USA ally.
Trump added: "I don't like that aggression".
"It's just happened in the last half-hour", Sanders said.
Roughly an hour earlier, he had told reporters he would probably meet with Mr Putin at the summit and said it was "a very good time to have the meeting". Kiev is hoping Trump will push Putin on the confrontation, which began Sunday when Russian Federation fired on Ukrainian ships trying to enter the Kerch Strait, a crucial waterway separating the Black and Azov seas.
The Ukrainian Navy said that it had informed Russian Federation in advance about the passage of Ukrainian vessels from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait.
Moscow has accused Kiev of planning Sunday's confrontation as a provocation aimed at drumming up support for Poroshenko ahead of elections next year and convincing Western governments to impose further sanctions on Russian Federation.
However, he later abruptly cancelled, citing Russia's failure to return the Ukrainian ships and sailors it seized last weekend during a confrontation on the Kerch Strait.
The Kremlin denied it was restricting shipping, saying it had not heard of any problems.
Putin-Trump summit to go ahead, says Kremlin spokesman
Poroshenko told Bild he also wanted North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to deploy warships to the Sea of Azov.
Differences over Ukraine, as well as Moscow's role in the civil war in Syria, have been an irritant in U.S.
Speaking with German newspaper Bild, Mr Poroshenko called on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation for naval support to counter Russia's "aggressive policy".
At least three Ukrainian sailors were wounded when Russian FSB border guards opened fire on two Ukrainian gunboats and a tug off Crimea.
"So there is already a lot of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in the Black Sea, and we will continue to assess our presence in the region".
The Kremlin also chose to stop all commercial shipping through the Kerch Strait that connects the Azov and Black seas. Ukraine insisted its vessels abided by maritime laws.
On November 25, three Ukrainian navy ships illegally crossed Russia's border and tried to carry out some illegal actions in Russian territorial waters later in the day.
There were further signs that Russian Federation was pressing ahead with its plans to fortify Crimea and turn it into what Kremlin-backed media have called a fortress. Cohen admitted in court Thursday that he lied when he said plans for Trump's Moscow project ended before the Iowa caucus in February 2016.
The administration of former President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on Russian Federation for its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Fighting in eastern Ukraine between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces has resulted in the deaths of 10,300 people.