Vastavam web: Representatives from the United States and Russia are set to meet in Geneva on Wednesday to explore the concept of a new accord limiting nuclear arms that could eventually include China, senior U.S. officials said on Monday. U.S. President Donald Trump has said that he would like to see a “next generation” arms control deal with Russia and China to cover all types of nuclear weapons. He has broached the topic individually with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, including most recently at the G20 summit in Osaka last month.
China is not a party to nuclear arms pacts between the United States and Russia and it is unclear how willing Beijing would be to be drawn into talks, said the officials, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will lead the delegation, which will include Tim Morrison, a top aide at the White House National Security Council, and representatives from the Pentagon, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Agency, the U.S. officials said.
Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, will lead the Russian delegation, the U.S. officials said. “We actually feel that – touch wood – we’ve actually got to a point where we can try to start this again,” one U.S. official said. Relations between the United States and Russia have been sour for years, deteriorating after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian war.
Trump has sought better relations, but has been hamstrung by a two-year investigation into the 2016 influence campaign by Russian operatives to attack Trump’s Democratic rival in the presidential election, Hillary Clinton. The investigation by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller found there was insufficient evidence that the Trump campaign illegally conspired with Moscow. The Kremlin has denied any meddling.