President Trump has told aides he would like to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin before the November election, according to a report.
The summit would be focused on promoting the two nation’s progress toward reaching a new nuclear arms control accord, NBC News reported Sunday.
Four people familiar with talks on the potential meeting told the network that various times and locations were being considered, including one option next month in New York City.
At the reported summit, the two leaders would sign a general blueprint outlining how they would move forward on a new arms treaty, also known as New START.
New START, the nuclear arms control agreement, expires next year.
Aides to the commander-in-chief argued that a summit gives him a chance to show voters his presidential side and remind them of his ability to secure strong agreements.
“He wants it to show his deal-maker abilities. It’s just a big stage,” one source told the network.
A White House official added that the president’s team plans to have him hold more meetings with world leaders in the weeks ahead of the 2020 election.
Asked about a potential meeting Sunday morning on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” National Security adviser Robert O’Brien said that a White House invitation had not yet been extended to the Kremlin.
“We’re not doing a meeting with Putin in the United States, but at some time we’d love to have Putin come here to sign a terrific arms control deal that protects Americans and protects Russians,” O’Brien said.
Trump and Putin spoke late last month by phone, discussing the coronavirus pandemic and a potential three-country nuclear treaty with China.
“President Trump reiterated his hope of avoiding an expensive three-way arms race between China, Russia, and the United States and looked forward to progress on upcoming arms control negotiations in Vienna,” a White House readout of the call said.
Their conversation came one month after arms control talks between the two countries’ top negotiators began in Vienna in late-June.
Trump wants a grand deal that limits rising military costs, including to maintain nuclear weapons stockpiles.
A Trump administration spokesperson did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
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