Nuclear power

Trump to huddle with U.S. energy executives to discuss nuclear exports

Retired U.S. Army Gen. Jack Keane at Trump Tower. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump is set to meet this afternoon with U.S. energy industry leaders to discuss issues including the possibility of providing Saudi Arabia with a path to nuclear power.

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia says it wants nuclear power in order to be able to divert more oil for export, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) led negotiations with the U.S. Energy and State departments last year over a power plants deal "worth upward of $80 billion," per the New York Times. But the kingdom has reportedly resisted safeguards to ensure it doesn’t develop nuclear weapons, and MBS said last March that Saudi Arabia will "follow suit as soon as possible" if its rival Iran makes a break for the bomb.

Russia to exit nuclear arms pact, begin designing new weapons

Vladimir Putin at podium smiling.
Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that Russia will withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and begin designing new intermediate-range weapons, following the Trump administration’s announcement Friday that the U.S. will officially exit the pact, the AP reports.

Why it matters: The Trump administration formally announced its intent to withdraw from the INF treaty in six months after accusing Russia of developing and testing a cruise missile that violates certain provisions of the Cold War-era pact. Putin has denied doing so, but said that while Russia will abandon the treaty in six months and begin developing previously banned ballistic missiles, it will not deploy any unless the U.S. does so first.

Go deeper: U.S. exit from INF Treaty frees Russia from key nuclear constraints

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