Russia on Tuesday said high-level talks with the United States this week will show how "serious" Washington is in seeking genuine dialogue with Moscow.
The two countries will hold the talks on Wednesday in Geneva — where presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin met last month — in a new bid to encourage stability in the tense relationship.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russian news agencies the talks will allow Moscow to "understand how serious the mindset of our US colleagues is in terms of establishing a concentrated, energetic dialogue in strategic stability."
The so-called Strategic Stability Dialogue was set up at the summit between Biden and Putin.
Ryabkov said the "approaches" of Moscow and Washington do not always "match."
"But the meeting is happening in order to launch the process, to do an in-depth analysis of where we differ and to try to find areas of joint work," he said.
While he expected the talks to continue after Wednesday's meeting, he said it remains "a big question" if they will allow relations between the two countries to "move forward."
"I would not raise the bar of expectations."
The Kremlin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that while improving relations "is a very complicated process," it welcomed that "there is contact" between the two countries.
The U.S. delegation will be led by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, the State Department has said.
The diplomacy comes amid tensions on multiple fronts between the two nations, but Putin has welcomed Biden's efforts to bring more predictability to the relationship between the two global powerhouses.
In announcing the future dialogue, Biden and Putin pointed out that Washington and Moscow spoke to each other to avoid worst-case scenarios even at the height of the Cold War.