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How Trump Plans To Make The ‘Best’ Nuclear Arms Deal With Russia

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How Trump Plans To Make The ‘Best’ Nuclear Arms Deal With Russia

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Trump, Russia, Nuclear Deal

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will propose offering to end sanctions imposed on Russia over its annexation of Crimea in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal with Moscow, he told The Times of London.

Criticizing previous U.S. foreign policy in an interview published on Monday, he described the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 as possibly the gravest error in the history of the United States and akin to “throwing rocks into a beehive”.

But Trump, who will be inaugurated on Friday as the 45th U.S. president, raised the prospect of the first big nuclear arms control agreement with Moscow since the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty signed by President Barack Obama in 2010.

“They have sanctions on Russia — let’s see if we can make some good deals with Russia,” the Republican president-elect was quoted as saying by The Times.

“For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially, that’s part of it. But Russia’s hurting very badly right now because of sanctions, but I think something can happen that a lot of people are gonna benefit.”

The United States and Russia are by far the world’s biggest nuclear powers. The United States has 1,367 nuclear warheads on deployed strategic missiles and bombers, and Russia has 1,796 such deployed warheads, according to the latest published assessment by the U.S. State Department.

Under the 2010 New START treaty, Russia and the United States agreed to limit the number of long-range, strategic nuclear weapons they can deploy.

Trump has said he will seek to improve relations with Moscow despite criticism that he is too eager to make an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The United States and other Western powers imposed sanctions on Russia in 2014 over its annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine and its support for pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Asked whether he would trust German Chancellor Angela Merkel or Putin more, Trump said: “Well, I start off trusting both –but let’s see how long that lasts. It may not last long at all.”

His relations with Moscow have faced renewed scrutiny after an unsubstantiated report that Russia had collected compromising information about Trump.

The information was summarized in a U.S. intelligence report which was presented to Trump and Obama this month.

The report concluded Russia tried to sway the outcome of the Nov. 8 election in Trump’s favor by hacking and other means. It did not make an assessment on whether Russia’s attempts affected the election’s outcome.

Trump accused U.S. intelligence agencies of leaking the information from the unverified dossier, which he called “fake news” and phony stuff.” Intelligence leaders denied the charge and Moscow has dismissed the accusations against it.

RUSSIAN RELATIONS

In the interview with The Times, Trump was also critical of Russia’s intervention in Syria’s civil war which, along with the help of Iran, has tilted the conflict in President Bashar al-Assad’s favor.

“I think it’s a very rough thing,” Trump said of Russian intervention in Syria. “Aleppo has been such a terrible humanitarian situation.”

The war has killed more than 300,000 people, created the world’s worst refugee crisis and aided the rise of the Islamic State militant group.

On NATO, Trump repeated his view that the military alliance was obsolete but said it was still very important for him.

“I took such heat, when I said NATO was obsolete,” Trump told The Times, referring to comments he made during his presidential election campaign. “It’s obsolete because it wasn’t taking care of terror. I took a lot of heat for two days. And then they started saying Trump is right.”

Trump said many NATO member states were not paying their fair share for U.S. protection.

“A lot of these countries aren’t paying what they’re supposed to be paying, which I think is very unfair to the United States,” Trump said. “With that being said, NATO is very important to me. There’s five countries that are paying what they’re supposed to. Five. It’s not much.”

Trump said he would appoint his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to try to broker a Middle East peace deal, urged Britain to veto any new U.N. Security Council resolution critical of Israel and criticized Obama’s handling of the deal between Iran and six world powers including the United States which curbed Tehran’s nuclear program.

On Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Trump said: “Brexit is going to end up being a great thing” and said he was eager to get a trade deal done with the United Kingdom.

(Editing by Peter Cooney and Timothy Heritage)

IMAGE: U.S.President-elect Donald Trump gestures to people in the lobby after speaking to the news media with television personality Steve Harvey and businessman Greg Calhoun after their meeting at Trump Tower in New York, U.S., January 13, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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14 Comments

  1. dpaano January 16, 2017

    He’s such a unqualified idiot! Sorry, but I have to say what I feel.

    Reply
    1. Dennis Mullins January 16, 2017

      No need to apologize when stating the facts.

      Reply
      1. dpaano January 17, 2017

        Good, because I was waiting for all the death threats from the trolls on this site!! I’m NOT looking forward to the inauguration at all, and I’m glad that so many of the Democratic politicians have said they would not be attending. Trump is making a big deal out of this and the journalists are saying that the Democrats are doing the very same thing that the Republicans did when President Obama was first inaugurated. At least our people didn’t meet in a secret room and vow not to allow anything Trump does to go through (although I know they’ll all be fighting against anything he does that will damage this country)!! My hope is that he’ll piss off people so much that when the midterm elections come along in 2018, a lot of the Republican seats that are up for re-election due to term limits or retirements will be filled by Democrats and we’ll get back the majority at least in ONE area!! Wouldn’t that be an insult to the Republicans!!!

        Reply
  2. Stuart January 16, 2017

    As part of the deal, we’re giving Alaska back. Sarah can have the Russians right next door. New Russian military base in Juneau.

    Reply
    1. dpaano January 17, 2017

      They might take that deal, but I don’t think they want Sarah to go with it!!!

      Reply
  3. Ken Walker January 16, 2017

    Perhaps in business you can gamble and bankrupt a company 4 times and recover, but you can’t do that with our country (America) and possibly the world. Trump is way in over his head.

    Reply
  4. FireBaron January 17, 2017

    Putin: “Here is the deal, Donnie. You will cut the number of nuclear missiles your country has in service, and we will tell you that we will cut the number we have in service. You will require immediate on-demand inspections by our intelligence community with no advanced notice, but will never be allowed to inspect anything of ours.”
    Teflon Donnie: “Sounds fair to me, Mister President. Now can I have that hotel deal in St. Petersburg?”
    Putin: “I will think about it, Donnie, after the check for the inspection services I will charge you clears. Oh, and you will put me on the Board of Directors for your Russian operations. I think Chairman would be suitable.”
    Teflon Donnie: “Sounds reasonable, Mister President. So when can I expect to break ground?”
    Putin: “After your term of office expires, Donnie. After all, we cannot have what appears to be a conflict of interest for you.”
    Teflon Donnie: “Thank you, Mister President.”

    Reply
    1. johninPCFL January 17, 2017

      Almost like the office was bugged…

      Reply
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  6. johninPCFL January 17, 2017

    Just another aspect of having dullard Perry in charge of the DoE. In a year, after Parry’s been cutting operations down in preparation for eliminating the cabinet post, we won’t be able to build, maintain, or design any more nukes anyway.

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