Another possible answer to the question is that Washington is playing to the Atlanticist Integrationists in the Russian government and business and financial elite. The message is that you will never be accepted into the West until you get rid of Putin and accept Washington's overlordship. Some of the Russian elite find this to be a tempting proposition. In my opinion it includes members of the Russian Academy of Sciences who value their relationships -- free trips and paid speeches -- in Western capitals. Washington buys everyone, Russian academics not excluded. Washington is making clear that paid trips for Russian academics abroad are at stake, Western financial holdings of Russian businesses and oligarchs are at risk of seizure along with Russian real property abroad, and important members of the Russian government and elite risk being sanctioned from traveling to the West.
In other words, Washington is telling members of the Russian elite, get rid of Putin, or we will get rid of you.
Just as Russian athletes were framed on false doping charges and prohibited from participating in the Olympics, now it seems Washington intends to cancel or boycott the World Cup in Russia. Washington intends to use Russian athletes against Putin, who is blamed for the expulsion of Russian athletes from the Olympics and for Russia's possible loss of the World Cup.
What should Putin make of Trump's invitation to come to Washington to discuss the arms race?
My advice to Putin is not to accept. It is too risky for Putin to put himself in Washington's hands where he could be arrested on any number of false charges for which he is already set up in the Western media. He stole an American election -- a felony. He invaded Ukraine and stole Crimera -- war crimes. He poisoned Skripal and his daughter -- attempted murder. He invaded Syria and defeated the "democratic forces" striving to bring democracy to Syria -- more war crimes. He covered up Iran's nuclear weapons program.
Considering the complete and total lawlessness of the government in Washington, why would any sane person as demonized as Putin go there? Washington doesn't even respect US law. Torture is a US crime as well as a crime under international law; yet President Trump has appointed a US and international criminal to be the Director of the CIA!!
Putin should tell Trump that whenever, if ever, Trump achieves control of the Deep State and can act independently as a president of the United States, then, and only then, he is welcome to Moscow to discuss the conditions on which the two countries can cooperate and mutually benefit. God forbid that Putin, who holds all the weapons cards, agree to any arms control with a government that has broken every agreement and thrown the pieces into the face of the Russian government.
If Putin succumbs to the Western harlot, Russia will be destroyed.
Washington is a hostile and determined enemy of Russia. The inability of Russia to accept this conclusion is a direct threat to the existence of Russia.
In the Russian military/security sphere there is realization that Russia now holds the balance of power and does not need to accept any "favors" from Washington. The director of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergey Naryskin, said today that the West is an Orwellian version of itself in attempting to hold onto unilateral power when in fact, Western "influence, which used to be unchallenged, is now diminishing." Washington's unjustified arrogance, Naryskin said, "resembles the overconfident Biblical strongman Goliath, who was slain by the young David."
Washington, Naryskin said, tries "to present the US-centered system of international relations, which is based on coercion and even blackmail, as an appearance of voluntary submission." In this way, "the US is trying to masquerade the brutal American dictate as 'Euroatlantic" or "international solidarity."
Washington attempts to cover up its crimes, Narysin said, with "big talk about human rights and democracy," but instead uses "military interventions into sovereign nations" which "were plunged into bloody chaos that had no place for such a fundamental right as a right to live. Over the past two decades hundreds of thousands [millions by my count] of innocent people fell victim to NATO aggression in Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa."
If President Putin makes the mistake of trusting Washington yet another time, he will destroy Russia and the world with it.