Putin: Arms control to top agenda for his meeting with Trump

Russian President Vladimir Putin briefly talked with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence Thursday about issues that will likely top the agenda of his planned meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Putin said he and Pence spoke on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Singapore, discussing arms control and other issues.

Pence’s press secretary, Alyssa Farah, said in a statement that the two “touched on the issues that will be discussed when President Trump and President Putin are both in Argentina for the (Group of 20) summit.”

Putin said Moscow and Washington need to discuss the future of the 2011 New START arms-reduction agreement and the situation around the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

Trump has declared his intention to withdraw from the INF, which was signed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Putin said Thursday that if he and Trump meet as expected in Argentina later this month, they will also discuss Syria, North Korea and Iran.

The Russian leader added that Moscow is prepared for “the restoration of full-fledged work” if Washington is ready for that. “We undoubtedly need a dialogue on the highest level, as well as on the level of experts,” he said.

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