Trump Hints to Meeting With Putin to Discuss Nuclear Treaty

WASHINGTON -
Trump and Putin, Putin and Trump
President Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

President Donald Trump discussed the possibility of holding a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin before the November 3 election. NBC News reported that aides have researched potential opportunities for the two men to meet, with one possibility as early as next month in New York. The summit would be to discuss mutual constraints on nuclear weapons. One possibility would be by extending New START, a nuclear arms treaty between the two countries that is set to expire in 2021.
New START, a 2018 agreement between the United States and Russia, imposed strict limitations on the countries’ abilities to amass nuclear warheads. If it were to lapse, scientists and politicians in America and Europe fear it could renew the nuclear arms race between the military giants.
The State Department announced last week that Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea would be meeting with Russian Federation Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov later this week in Vienna to continue negotiating an arms control pact between the two countries. Billingslea, representing the Trump administration, has indicated he hopes a future nuclear weapons agreement will include China, which has been building nuclear weapons.
People familiar with the discussions in the administration said President Trump hopes to impress with a very public showing of his ability to make a deal.
However, other White House officials have cautioned the President against a meeting with the Russian leader, as President Trump is widely perceived as being too cozy with President Putin. The officials warn that Trump’s eagerness to meet could encourage Putin’s efforts to divide and weaken Americans.
Since 2016, United States intelligence officials have warned the public that Russian-linked misinformation campaigns have been attempting to manipulate American voters After their private meeting in 2018 in Helsinki, Finland, President Trump announced that he believed Putin’s claim that Russian internet users were not deliberately spreading false information to confuse and deceive American citizens. The Helsinki summit brought President Trump plenty of attention, but much of it was negative and he was accused of being manipulated by Putin.