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Arms control, hot spots are top priorities for next Trump-Putin meeting, Russian leader says

MOSCOW — The U.S. and Russia “need a dialog on the highest level” and “the restoration of full-fledged work," Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday about his next meeting with President Donald Trump.

Putin talked with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence Thursday about issues that will likely top the agenda of his planned meeting with Trump this month. Putin and Pence were attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Singapore, discussing arms control and other issues.

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,” Pence’s press secretary, Alyssa Farah, said in a statement.

Putin said Moscow and Washington need to discuss the future of the 2011 New START arms-reduction agreement and the situation concerning 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 said Moscow is prepared for “the restoration of full-fledged work” if Washington is ready.

“We undoubtedly need a dialogue on the highest level, as well as on the level of experts,” he said.

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