White House Confirms New Meetings With Vladimir Putin Officials

(FreedomBeacon.com)- Last Wednesday, senior US and Russian officials restarted talks on easing tensions between the two countries and have agreed to reconvene in September after informal consultations.

Heading the delegations that met in Geneva last week were Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

According to Russian news agency TASS, Ryabkov said he was satisfied with the consultations and the US showed a readiness for constructive dialogue.

President Biden and Russian President Putin agreed to launch the bilateral dialogue during their summit in mid-June. The goal of these talks is to “lay the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures.”

During last week’s consultations aimed at “determining topics for expert working groups,” the two sides agreed reconvene in late September.

According to State Department spokesman Ned Price, the discussions were both “professional and substantive. The US delegation discussed policy priorities, the current international security environment, and “the prospects for new nuclear arms control.” The delegations also hammered out the protocol and topics for future meetings.

One State Department official said Wednesday’s initial meeting was substantive, adding that the decision to reconvene in September shows that both sides understand the need to resolve arms control disputes over several Cold War-era treaties that have ended, including one that limited intermediate-range missiles.

One official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that the US has a responsibility “as the largest nuclear weapons states” to find ways to “improve strategic stability” especially in light of the threats posed by “new emerging technologies.”

These new threats include artificial intelligence-controlled weapons, cyberattacks on existing nuclear weapons systems, as well as highly maneuverable aerial or submerged hypersonic weapons that are specifically designed to evade defenses.

In February, shortly before it was set to expire, the US and Russia extended the bilateral New START nuclear arms control treaty for another five years. This treaty limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads, missiles and bombers that the US and Russia are permitted to deploy.