Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Russia, US hold ‘substantive’ nuke talks in Geneva after summit push

Russia, US hold ‘substantive’ nuke talks in Geneva after summit push

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Ryabkov (left) and his US counterpart Wendy Sherman spoke mostly about arms control at their Tuesday meeting in Swiss diplomatic hub Geneva. SPUTNIK, AFP

Russia, US hold ‘substantive’ nuke talks in Geneva after summit push

Russia and the US on July 28 said they had business-like and substantive talks in Geneva in their second effort in as many months to bring stability to a fraught relationship.

The closed-door talks were a follow-up to last month’s summit, also held in the Swiss diplomatic hub, between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden, who both described their first encounter as productive despite soaring tensions on multiple fronts.

Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Ryabkov and his US counterpart Wendy Sherman spoke mostly about arms control – one area where Biden has shown a willingness to engage with Russia – and agreed to meet again in September.

“On the mood of the meeting, I would call it very down to earth, very business-like, very focused,” Ryabkov told reporters, as quoted by Russian news agencies.

US state department spokesman Ned Price said the discussions were “professional and substantive”.

“We remain committed, even in times of tension, to ensuring predictability and reducing the risk of armed conflict and threat of nuclear war,” he said in a statement.

US officials were set to brief NATO allies on the discussions during a visit on July 29 to Brussels, he said.

A senior state department official described July 28’s talks as “very broad-ranging” rather than specific, but said that working groups would meet to gauge areas for progress.

“This dialogue really pertained to issues that relate or give rise to the threat of the potential use of nuclear weapons in a crisis or a conflict, or that threaten to destabilise the bilateral relationship,” the official told reporters.

Ryabkov earlier said the talks would allow Russia to “understand how serious the mindset of our US colleagues is in terms of establishing a concentrated, energetic dialogue in strategic stability”.

But he added: “I would not raise the bar of expectations.”

Shortly after taking office, the Biden administration extended the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New Start) with Russia on reducing nuclear arsenals, even as it vowed to raise pressure on Moscow on other areas.

There are tensions on multiple fronts between the two nations, with Washington blaming Moscow for a wave of cyberattacks, for which Russia denies any responsibility.

Biden on July 27 accused Putin of seeking to disrupt the 2022 US congressional elections by spreading “misinformation”.

“It’s a pure violation of our sovereignty,” the US leader said.

Putin has “a real problem – he is sitting on top of an economy that has nuclear weapons and nothing else”, Biden added. “He knows he is in real trouble, which makes him even more dangerous.”

Putin has nonetheless welcomed Biden’s efforts to bring more predictability to the relationship between the two global powerhouses.

During their Geneva summit, the two presidents, who hold the world’s largest nuclear arsenals, shook hands, spoke for more than three hours and stressed the importance of dialogue.

Andrey Baklitskiy, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Advanced American Studies at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, said that working groups showed a willingness to keep moving forward.

“It seems that you can have business with the Biden administration. If they agree to something, at least they will try to follow through,” he told reporters in Geneva via video link.


  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • International air visitor arrivals dip 93%

    The number of foreign tourists entering Cambodia through the Kingdom’s three international airports witnessed a sharp 92.5 per cent year-on-year decline in the first seven months of this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The airports handled 51,729 international tourists in the January-July period versus

  • School reopening ‘offers model for other sectors’

    World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said school reopening process should be used as a role model for reopening other sectors currently mothballed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Li strongly supports the government’s decision to reopen schools, saying it is a decision

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.