President Trump tweeted Thursday from Air Force One that he decided to cancel his scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina this weekend as a result of Russia's aggression in Ukraine.

"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!"

The backdrop: Trump's decision comes just hours after his former attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2017 about the length and scope of his work on plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Before taking off for Argentina, Trump told reporters he would be receiving a "full briefing" on Russia's latest act of aggression off of Crimea.

  • A Russian Coast Guard vessel Sunday slammed into a Ukrainian navy tugboat escorting two small warships through the Kerch Strait, which separates occupied Crimea from Russia. Russia then seized the three Ukrainian vessels and took 24 sailors prisoner.
  • That opened a new front in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has been raging for four years. "In the light of day, Moscow demonstrated that it will attack Ukraine with its conventional forces," says John Herbst, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine now at the Atlantic Council.
  • Ukraine has declared martial law for 30 days in areas under threat from Russia, and President Petro Poroshenko has been calling for a show of strength and solidarity from NATO, the U.S. and European allies like Germany. In response to Trump's announcement, Poroshenko tweeted "this is how great leaders act!"

Go deeper: Russia gives up on Trump

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Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events
  6. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
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Republicans and Dems react to Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation

President Trump stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett after she took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice during a White House ceremony Monday night .Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

President Trump said Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court and her subsequent taking of the constitutional oath Monday was a "momentous day," as she she vowed to serve "without any fear or favour."

  • But as Republicans applauded the third conservative justice in four years, many Democrats including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) warned of consequences to the rush to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ahead of the Nov. 3 election, with progressives leading calls to expand the court.
Ina Fried, author of Login
59 mins ago - Science

CRISPR pioneer: "Science is on the ballot" in 2020

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

In her three decades in science, Jennifer Doudna said she has seen a gradual erosion of trust in the profession, but the recent Nobel Prize winner told "Axios on HBO" that the institution itself has been under assault from the current administration.

  • "I think science is on the ballot," Doudna said in the interview.

Why it matters: That has manifested itself in everything from how the federal government approaches climate change to the pandemic.