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'Professional and Substantive': Russia, US Hold Promising Strategic Stability Talks

© Sputnik / Sergey Guneev / Go to the photo bankA view shows Mont-Blanc bridge decorated with flags of the USA and Russia ahead of the June 16 summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Geneva, Switzerland
A view shows Mont-Blanc bridge decorated with flags of the USA and Russia ahead of the June 16 summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Geneva, Switzerland - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.07.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - In a follow-up to last month's landmark meeting between Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden in Geneva, the top diplomats of the world's two largest nuclear-weapon powers held a closed-door meeting in the same Swiss city to discuss strategic stability and address normalizing their fraught bilateral relations.
The delegations were headed by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
The Geneva consultations were "professional and substantive," the US State Department said in a readout of the talks. Ryabkov echoed the sentiment, saying he was satisfied with the meeting and noting that the United States had demonstrated its readiness for constructive dialogue.
"The main indicators and criteria by which I can say that the meeting was positive and rather constructive, are the following: first, there were no attempts to inflict the approaches, which are obviously unacceptable to us," Ryabkov told reporters.
The second factor voiced by the Russian diplomat was that the parties were able to discuss "not only the substantive part of the upcoming strategic dialogue but also outline a certain perspective," Ryabkov said
The two sides agreed to meet again in a plenary session at the end of September and to hold informal consultations in the meantime. The delegations also discussed the creation of strategic stability working groups.
The US side emphasized that it remained committed, even in times of tension with Russia, to reduce the risk of armed conflict and the threat of nuclear war.
Commenting on the quiet consultations in the diplomatic hub of Switzerland, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that restarted negotiations are a positive sign.
"So far, the only positive thing is the fact that we have moved from stalemate to negotiations … Yet, the mere fact that today our experts are in Geneva discussing the issues of strategic stability is a very positive sign," Peskov told reporters.
The United Nations reacted to the Russia-US talks, welcoming the two country's efforts to engage in a strategic dialogue that will benefit the whole of humanity.
"We welcome any productive dialogue between all member states, but, in particular, between key states, such as these two permanent members of the UN Security Council," UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said.
The first US-Russia Summit between Putin and Biden took place in Geneva on June 16. The leaders issued a joint statement emphasizing that the two sides intended to launch a comprehensive bilateral dialogue on strategic stability that would be substantive and energetic. In addition, both Russia and the United States stated that they intended to begin consultations on cybersecurity, prisoner swaps and arms control.
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