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U.S., Russia Launch Discreet New Round of Talks in Geneva

The U.S. and Russia have agreed to a series of diplomatic talks as part of President Joe Biden's attempt to bring the bilateral relationship onto a more "stable" footing. Sergei Bobylev / TASS

Russian and U.S. diplomats held talks behind closed doors in Geneva on Thursday, the latest round of discussions aimed at ironing out the many tensions between the world's top two nuclear powers.

U.S. State Department number two Wendy Sherman and Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov were due to meet for most of the day in what the U.S. mission in Geneva hoped would be "productive talks."

In June, U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had met in a high-profile summit where they had agreed it was vital to keep talking despite the differences that divide them.

From cyber attacks on U.S. entities and meddling in the last two U.S. presidential elections, to human rights violations and aggression against Ukraine and other European countries, the U.S. list of allegations against the Kremlin runs long.

Putin though insists he is just challenging U.S. hegemony, and has denied any connection to what the U.S. says are Russia-based hacking and ransomware gangs, or having any hand in the deaths of many opponents during two decades in power.

The Geneva talks began around 10:00 a.m., said a member of Russia's mission to the UN.

The two sides were expected to discuss disarmament, new technologies, space and artificial intelligence, Swiss news agency ATS reported.

Thursday's talks were being held at Russia's UN mission, after the last round in late July was hosted by the Americans a few hundred meters (yards) away.

Arms control was at the top of the agenda at that exchange.

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