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Reports: Washington, Moscow To Hold Arms-Control Talks Next Week

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov will reportedly lead the Russian delegation.

Media reports say the United States and Russia have agreed to launch new arms-control talks next week as part of an agreement reached by President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, at a summit last month.

The Hill website reported the talks will be held in Geneva on July 28, quoting an unnamed State Department official.

Russia's Kommersant on July 20 also reported the date for the talks, adding that Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov will lead the Russian delegation.

Ryabkov last week told the official TASS news agency that the talks would take place before the end of the month.

There was no immediate confirmation of the date from U.S. officials.

When asked by reporters in Moscow on July 20, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not confirm or deny the date, saying the date will be announced "in due time."

At their summit in Geneva on June 16, U.S President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, agreed to begin "strategic stability" talks to "seek to lay the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures."

The talks would build on the New START treaty, the last major arms-control treaty remaining between Moscow and Washington.

Biden moved to extend the accord in January, shortly before its expiration.

New START first went into effect in 2011. The treaty limits the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads at 1,550, deployed strategic delivery systems at 700, and provides for a verification regime.

Already strained relations between Moscow and Washington have deteriorated further since Biden took office in January, with the United States sanctioning Russia over cyberattacks, election meddling, and the poisoning and jailing of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny.

But the U.S. president has also said that the United States wants a "stable, predictable" relationship that allows the two countries to work together on common issues like strategic stability, arms control, and climate change.

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