The US and Russia held a “Strategic Stability Dialogue” that included arms control talks in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday, which the State Department described as “professional and substantive.” Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman led the US delegation, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov led the Russian side.
No breakthroughs were made, but the two sides agreed to further talks. “The two delegations agreed to meet again in a plenary session at the end of September, and to hold informal consultations in the interim, with the aim of determining topics for expert working groups at the second plenary,” the State Department said.
The talks were the result of the June 16th summit between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was also held in Geneva. The two leaders agreed to hold strategic talks and released a joint statement that said a “nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”
Early in his presidency, Biden and Putin agreed to renew New START, the last nuclear arms control treaty between the US and Russia that limits the number of missiles, bombers, and nuclear warheads each power can have deployed.
While Biden moved quickly to extend New START, his administration scuttled an opportunity to salvage the Open Skies, a mutual surveillance treaty that allowed unarmed flights over participating countries. The Trump administration withdrew from Open Skies last year. After Biden and Putin agreed to extend New START, Moscow signaled it was open to the idea of reviving Open Skies. But in May, the Biden administration notified the Russians it would not rejoin the treaty.