Trump, Putin discuss possible new US-Russia nuclear accord: White House
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Trump, Putin discuss possible new US-Russia nuclear accord: White House

Trump and Putin talked on Friday about the possibility of a new multilateral nuclear accord between Washington and Moscow or an extension of the current US-Russia strategic nuclear treaty, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. The New START treaty, which was signed in 2011, is the only US-Russia arms control pact limiting deployed nuclear weapons. The accord expires in February 2021 but can be extended for five years if both sides agree. Trump has called the New START treaty a “bad deal” and “one-sided.” “They discussed a nuclear agreement, both new and extended, and the possibility of having conversations with China on that as well,” Sanders said. The two men also discussed briefly about the report by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller that concluded Trump did not collude with Russia during his 2016 US presidential election. The Mueller probe discussion was “essentially in the context of that it’s over and there was no collusion, which I’m pretty sure both leaders were very well aware of long before this call took place,” said Sanders. Trump told Putin “the United States stands with the people of Venezuela” and stressed he wanted to get relief supplies into the country, Sanders said. Sanders also said the two leaders discussed Ukraine. Trump canceled a summit meeting with Putin in late 2018 after Russia seized three Ukrainian Navy ships on November 25 and arrested 24 sailors. Trump also raised with Putin the issue of getting North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. Trump has met twice with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but Kim has yet to agree to a denuclearization deal. Sanders said Trump mentioned several times “the need and importance of Russia stepping up and continuing to put pressure on North Korea to denuclearize.”

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