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High-level US, Russian envoys meet in latest strategic talks

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman speaks on the situation in Afghanistan at the State Department in Washington, DC, on August 18, 2021. (Andrew Harnik / POOL / AFP)
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman speaks on the situation in Afghanistan at the State Department in Washington, DC, on August 18, 2021. (Andrew Harnik / POOL / AFP)

High-level Russian and US diplomats are meeting in Geneva as part of strategic talks revived by presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin at a June summit, with contentious issues like nuclear weapons and cyberspace on the table.

The second-ranked US diplomat, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, is holding several hours of talks with her Russian counterpart, Sergey Ryabkov, at Russia’s diplomatic mission in Geneva — the second round following up on an earlier one at the US mission in the Swiss capital in July.

Little progress was made at the first meeting, which took place after the two countries’ leaders revived the channel of communication at their Geneva summit.

A senior State Department official says today’s agenda includes traditional nuclear arms control, the use of space and artificial intelligence, and cyber matters. However, the cyber discussion was focused on strategic issues and nuclear weapons — and not ransomware or hacking, the official says. There was no immediate readout about whether any progress was made in the talks.

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