US President Donald Trump stressed the U.S. desire for arms control that includes both Russia and China in a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, the White House said in a statement.
“President Trump reaffirmed that the United States is committed to effective arms control that includes not only Russia, but also China, and looks forward to future discussions to avoid a costly arms race,” the White House said.
Trump has repeatedly argued – so far to no avail – for China to join the United States and Russia in talks on an arms control accord to replace the 2010 New START treaty between Washington and Moscow that expires in February.
New START restricted the United States and Russia to deploying no more than 1,550 nuclear warheads, the lowest level in decades, and limited the land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers that deliver them.
China, estimated to have about 300 nuclear weapons, has repeatedly rejected Trump’s proposal, arguing its nuclear force is defensive and poses no threat.
The Trump-Putin call, which marked the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe, also covered working to defeat the new coronavirus outbreak as well as other issues, the White House said.