World US and Russia hold 'substantive' strategic stability talks as Moscow raps Biden for comments
China hails Xi and Biden talks, after year of growing strain
BEIJING (AP) — China on Tuesday hailed a virtual meeting between President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden, saying they had a candid and constructive exchange that sent a strong signal to the world. The positive description of the meeting came in sharp contrast to heated exchanges between the two nations earlier this year. The talks appeared to mark what both sides hoped would be a turnaround in relations, though major differences remain. © Provided by Associated Press In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency Chinese President Xi Jinping, fourth from right waves as he greets U.S. President Joe Biden via video link from Beijing, China on Tuesday, Nov.
US and Russian officials had "professional and substantive talks" on strategic stability in Switzerland, the State Department said in a statement Wednesday.
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman led a delegation of US officials in a meeting with Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Ryabkov, the first in a series of "integrated Strategic Stability Dialogue" talks arranged in June atwith Russian President Vladimir Putin.
These strategic talks come as Russia is amassing military might in the Arctic and testing its, including an unmanned stealth torpedo powered by a nuclear reactor. State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement that, "we remain committed, even in times of tension, to ensuring predictability and reducing the risk of armed conflict and threat of nuclear war."
Exclusive: Russia Lays Out Path to Stabilize Afghanistan, Avoid Another 9/11
Senior Foreign Policy Writer Tom O'Connor conducted an exclusive interview in Moscow on Tuesday with Russian special representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov.Q: In the broader terms of Russia's approach to Afghanistan, what are its best hopes for the country right now and its greatest concerns as it relates to the current situation?
Washington and Moscow are at odds over issues ranging from ransomware attacks that have penetrated US government agencies, to Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline, its interference in Ukraine and its detention of Americans. Even so, the Biden administration has stressed that it still seeks to cooperate with Moscow on areas of mutual concern, including climate change.
The meeting was the first in a series of planned engagements meant to improve communication and reduce the possibility of diplomatic missteps at a time of strained relations between the two countries. This first meeting convened as Moscow rapped Biden for remarks about the shaky state of Russia's economy and the dangers that presents.
'A real shooting war'
During remarks at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Tuesday,that Russia is already interfering in the 2022 US midterm elections, that an increase in cyber attacks could lead to war, and that the weakness of Putin's position makes him even more dangerous.
Russia hits record coronavirus deaths for 2nd straight day
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's record high coronavirus death toll persisted for a second straight day on Saturday, as the number of new infections declined. The state coronavirus task force reported 1,254 COVID-19 deaths, matching Friday's tally. The task force also reported 37,120 new confirmed cases. The daily new infections in recent weeks appear to have a downward trend but still remain higher than during previous surges of the virus. The latestThe state coronavirus task force reported 1,254 COVID-19 deaths, matching Friday's tally.
"We've seen how cyber threats, including ransomware attacks, increasingly are able to cause damage and disruption in the real world," Biden said. "I can't guarantee this, and they're as informed as I am, but I think it's more likely we're going to end up, we end up in a war. A real shooting war with major power. It's gonna be as a consequence of a cyber break of great consequence."
Video: Union head responds to concerns that Trump-supporting members keep union from defending Jan 6 officers more strongly (CNN)
"When I was with Mr. Putin, who has a real problem — he is — he's sitting on top of an economy that has nuclear weapons and oil wells and nothing else," Biden said. "Nothing else. Their economy is — what? — the eighth smallest in the world now — largest in the world? He knows — he knows he's in real trouble, which makes him even more dangerous, in my view."
Russia, China sign roadmap for closer military cooperation
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's defense chief on Tuesday signed a roadmap for closer military ties with China, pointing to increasingly frequent U.S. strategic bomber flights near both countries' borders. During a video call, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe “expressed a shared interest in stepping up strategic military exercises and joint patrols by Russia and China,” according to the Russian Defense Ministry. “ChinaDuring a video call, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe “expressed a shared interest in stepping up strategic military exercises and joint patrols by Russia and China,” according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
The Kremlin said on Wednesday Biden was wrong in his assessment that Russia only has nuclear weapons and oil.
"At the very least, they are inherently wrong," Kremlin Dmitri Peskov said on a conference call with journalists. "The President of the United States spoke about our President, speaking in front of [US] National Intelligence officers. It is clear that such bravura statements are in demand among this audience.
"Obviously, Biden is voicing the messages that are being prepared by his apparatus, his employees. We can see an erroneous knowledge and understanding of modern Russia here," he said.
Peskov said the Kremlin regrets the US is more of an opponent than a partner despite Putin "repeatedly" demonstrating the "political will" to normalize relations:
At Wednesday's talks, "the US delegation discussed US policy priorities and the current security environment, national perceptions of threats to strategic stability, prospects for new nuclear arms control, and the format for future Strategic Stability Dialogue sessions," Price said.
As Russia Talks Nuclear Weapons with U.S., It Forges Closer Military Ties with China
Russia's military chief said Moscow and Beijing have found "new ways of interaction and continued fruitful collaboration," while his Chinese counterpart said the two have "maintained strong and unwavering bilateral relations, becoming an important stabilizing force of the world today."The State Department announced Wednesday that a delegation headed by Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman met with a Russian team led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in Geneva to mark the beginning of the U.S.-Russia Strategic Stability Dialogue, which was outlined in last month's summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Biden renewed the New START nuclear arms control agreement with Russia during his first month in office, but both countries have said that more work needs to be done to reduce conflict and address new areas of competition.
The space race and cyber offensive capabilities are expected to be on the agenda, sources familiar with the plans have said. Price said the two delegations agreed to meet again at the end of September and to hold informal consultations in the interim to determine topics for expert working groups going forward.
Price also said that senior officials from the State Department and Pentagon will now travel to Brussels, Belgium, to brief allies at NATO headquarters.
After the meetings Wednesday, Ryabkov told TASS news agency that the US showed up in Geneva ready for constructive dialogue.
"They are ready," TASS quoted the deputy foreign minister as saying. "This is a good thing. They [the US] sent an impressive delegation representing all departments."
Ryabkov said the US "worked through its agenda 100%" and that there were no surprises for the Russian delegation.
The more formal Russian readout of the meeting was brief. "In accordance with the instructions of the Presidents of the two countries, a comprehensive discussion was held on the approaches of the parties to maintaining strategic stability, the prospects for arms control and measures to reduce risks," the statement said. "Various aspects of the further development of cooperation on this topic were touched upon."
What Russia, China, Iran Want in Afghanistan When U.S. Troops Leave .
Russia, China and Iran seek to ensure stability in Afghanistan while securing their own interests, as friendly ties with Kabul are tested by a desire to engage with the powerful Taliban movement that has retaken much of the country. RussiaFor Russia, this means stepping up to a longstanding engagement in a country where it has a modern history of intervention and withdrawal.The 1980s Soviet attempt to defend a communist government in Kabul was met with fierce resistance by local and foreign mujahideen fighters, who received support from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United States.