President-elect Donald Trump says he’s willing to lift sanctions imposed on Russia over its annexation of Crimea in return for a nuclear arms reduction treaty. In an interview with The Times of London out Sunday, Trump said, “They have sanctions on Russia — let’s see if we can make some good deals with Russia.” “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,” he said. Trump previously alarmed experts by declaring that the U.S. “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” In comments to MSNBC in late December, he even went so far as to say he’d be fine with an “arms race,” saying “we will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.” While Trump was critical of Russia’s intervention in Syria in the interview, he also said he would begin his term in office by trusting Russian President Vladimir Putin, echoing his earlier vow to improve ties with Russia.
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