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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

At his press conference at the NATO meeting in Brussels, President Trump said he would discuss with Vladimir Putin both Russia's violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, originally negotiated in 1987 by President Reagan, and the potential extension of the 2010 New START accord.

Why it matters: Trump and Putin together control more than 90% of the world’s nuclear stockpile, and it's Russian nuclear weapons pointed toward the U.S. that present the greatest existential threat to its national security.

The INF treaty eliminated all American and Soviet ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. New START reduced both countries’ strategic nuclear arsenals while advancing robust inspections. Both agreements made the world safer, yet Russia may be violating the INF treaty and New START is set to expire in two years.

Why it matters: If Trump and Putin do not address these nuclear issues, their failure would not only betray the hollowness of their claims to a strong working relationship but would also pose grave risks to global security. European confidence in American support would disintegrate, skepticism about America’s willingness to stand up to Russian aggression would intensify and critical strategic pillars of U.S.–Russian nuclear stability would go up in smoke.

Joel Rubin is the president of the Washington Strategy Group and a former deputy assistant secretary of state.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

17 mins ago - Technology

States court tech money even as they bash companies

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Some of the country's fastest-growing states are publicly attacking the tech industry's business practices on one hand while courting its investment on the other.

Why it matters: Attracting technology companies is a holy grail for economic development because they bring high-paying jobs and prestige to aspiring tech hubs. But that project is now colliding with some state leaders' efforts to rein in tech companies' growing power.

Minnesota governor denounces alleged police violence against media

Law enforcement officers pepper spray freelance photographer Tim Evans (L) as he identifies himself a working journalist outside the Brooklyn Center police station on Friday. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Gov. Tim Walz (D) spoke out Sunday over allegations that journalists covering unrest in the Twin Cities suburb of Brooklyn Center have endured police violence, telling CBS Minnesota: "Apologies are not enough, it just cannot happen."

Why it matters: Since violations of press freedoms came to national attention last year, with reports of journalists being arrested and assaulted while covering anti-racism protests, violent encounters with law enforcement seem to have become the norm.

8 hours ago - World

In photos: Students evacuated as wildfire burns historic Cape Town buildings

Firefighters try, in vain, to extinguish a fire in the Jagger Library, at the University of Cape Town, after a forest fire came down the foothills of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, on Sunday. Photo: Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images

A massive wildfire spread from the foothills of Table Mountain to the University of Cape Town Sunday, burning historic South African buildings and forcing the evacuation of 4,000 students, per Times Live.

The big picture: Visitors to the Table Mountain National Park and other nearby attractions were also evacuated and several roads including a major highway, were closed. South Africa's oldest working windmill and the university's Jagger Library, which houses SA antiquities, were among the buildings damaged.