What to look for: Trump may ask Putin for a new nuclear weapons agreement, as Russia accelerates its development of hypersonic and strategic weapons.
Background: In order to calm new fears of a budding arms race, Trump said he would discuss the reduction of nuclear weapons with Putin.
"If we can do something to substantially reduce them, I mean, ideally get rid of them, maybe that's a dream, but certainly it's a subject that I'll be bringing up with him," Trump said Friday. "The proliferation is a tremendous, I mean, to me, it's the biggest problem in the world, nuclear weapons, biggest problem in the world."
One option Trump may present to Putin is a new nuclear weapons agreement. The New START treaty, which is the current nuke agreement, is slated to expire in 2021.
"I think the low hanging fruit would be nuclear negotiations because the Europeans would be exceptionally happy to see us make progress with Russia on that front," explained Desch. "And so, reinvigorating the New START treaty would be a wise item on the agenda for the Trump administration."
Meanwhile, America's top nuclear commander has warned of Russia's sprint to deploy hypersonic weapons, a new breed of high-speed threats against which the U.S. is currently unable to defend.
"We don't have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us," Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March. He added that both Russia and China are "aggressively pursuing hypersonic capabilities."
Hyten's comments came weeks after the Russian leader touted his nation's hypersonic weapons as "invincible" during a state-of-the-nation address. Putin spoke in front of a projection showing video clips of the weapons as well as a simulated strike on the U.S. homeland.
"I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country's development: You have failed to contain Russia," Putin said during his address.
Of the six weapons Putin debuted in March, CNBC has learned that two of them will be ready for war by 2020, according to sources with direct knowledge of U.S. intelligence reports.