The Biden administration’s first round of nuclear arms control deliberations will happen next week in Geneva, Switzerland, the two countries said on July 23.
Last month, U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to hold a Strategic Stability Dialogue. It will take place on July 28.
“The meeting follows up on a commitment made between President Biden and Russian President Putin to establish a thoughtful and robust engagement between our two nations,” the State Department stated in a statement.
The U.S. delegation is led by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman & feature arms control diplomat Bonnie Jenkins. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov will lead the Russian delegation, the Foreign Ministry announced.
Relations between the two countries are strained on several facets, from hacking and electoral tampering to the poisoning and imprisonment of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny.
However, the focus is likely to be on how to move beyond the New START treaty, which Biden and Putin have agreed to continue through 2026.
The Biden administration intends to include Russia’s numerically superior arsenal of non-strategic nuclear missiles in arms talks with European partners.
The Russians have stated they will push for negotiated limits on U.S. missile defenses, which they perceive as a longer-term danger to their strategic arsenal’s viability.
As Ryabkov told TASS, the Russians wish to discuss all elements of strategic stability and weapons control prospects.