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Putin says US, Russia to resume nuclear arms talks

President Donald J. Trump participates in a bilateral meeting with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin during the G20 Japan Summit Friday, June 28, 2019, in Osaka, Japan. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that he and his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, have ordered their foreign ministers to begin consultations on nuclear arms control.

Speaking after the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 29, Putin stressed that “we cannot yet say whether this will lead to an extension of New START treaty,” referring to a 2010 arms-control agreement that is due to expire in 2021 unless the two countries agree on an extension.

Trump spoke with journalists separately the same day and said of his talks with Putin: “We talked a lot about arms control.”

According to the White House statement released after their meeting, Trump and Putin did discuss the question of the treaty.

“The Presidents agreed the two countries will continue discussion on a 21st century model of arms control, which President Trump stated as needing to include China,” the statement said.

Nuclear arms control has been a worrisome issue especially since Washington earlier this year accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and effectively withdrew from the deal.

Trump administration officials have signaled they want to negotiate a new treaty that includes China.