Russia and the United States are testing a new negotiating format: three interagency working groups will be for four days to discuss the problems of strategic stability. On the agenda of the consultations will conclude on Thursday, space security, military doctrines and capabilities, transparency and verification. In recent years the parties have not made such a serious attempt to settle the differences. However, this does not mean that Moscow and Washington really want or can about something to negotiate.Russian-American dialogue on strategic stability of recent years was unproductive, and so many reasons: the overall poor state of bilateral relations and “toxicity” of Moscow in the eyes of the Washington establishment, critical attitude of the administration of the President of the United States Donald trump to any legally binding agreements, ongoing personnel reshuffle in the White house and the state Department. Suffice it to say that his American counterpart, Deputy foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who is in the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in this area were changed almost at every meeting.In may Sergei Ryabkov has to deal simultaneously with two representatives of the state Department’s new special envoy of the U.S. President for arms control Marshall Billingsley and assistant Secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation Christopher Ford. During the January meeting, with Christopher Ford, an agreement was reached to establish a working group on outer space. Outcome of the June talks with Marshall Billingsley was the emergence of two groups — on military doctrine and capabilities, as well as on transparency measures and verification.Members of these three groups will be for four days to meet in Vienna. Both sides brought in the Austrian capital, the impressive inter-Ministerial delegation, the backbone of whom are diplomats and the military. At the level of representation and duration of consultations, this event is reminiscent of the work of the working groups of the bilateral presidential Commission Obama—Medvedev best times of the reset in relations between Moscow and Washington.But this time it is more difficult to understand whether the parties intended to resolve the problems and agreements. In the US in six months may be replaced by administration, and in Moscow understand that in this case, it is now a concerted decision can be repealed or amended.Serious negotiations at this stage, as a rule, do not start. But even if you win Donald trump, there is no guarantee that time and effort will be well spent. Members of his administration said in advance that he accepts the offer of the Kremlin on the extension of a bilateral Treaty on the reduction and limitation of strategic ��astutely arms (start Treaty), but only if the regime of arms control, joined by another, and China. In Beijing, however, made it clear that it is not interested in this. Many experts, including those in Washington do not exclude that the U.S. government mimic the activity with Russia, while continuing to entice China to at the end of the start to be able to say that they all tried, but failed. About what the us side said the talks in Vienna, part of the trilateral consultations on arms control involving China, said in published yesterday a press release of the state Department. In the message the Russian foreign Ministry talking about a purely bilateral exercise. Earlier, Moscow said that it is not against connection Beijing, but will not put him under any pressure, because such decisions should be voluntary.In any case, working group members have something to discuss on a bilateral level. So, on the eve Christopher Ford announced that the U.S. intends to offer Russia to create a special channel of communication to prevent incidents in outer space and to prevent them from escalating. As examples of such hot lines, he cited the line “deconflicting” between the American and Russian armed forces in Syria and two-way communication channel for incidents in cyberspace. However, he noted that the conversation with the Russian delegation, the U.S. side will start with “expressing its grave concern at the continued efforts of Russia and China on the weaponization of outer space”. According to Christopher Ford, the US hopes that countries can agree on rules of responsible behavior in space. Russia’s actions in outer space he called “strange and dangerous”: according to the United States, the Russian military test there anti-satellite weapons.The Russian foreign Ministry, these statements are regarded as “another anti-Russian attack, and part of the Washington-initiated purposeful campaign for discredit of the Russian space activities and the Russian peace initiatives for the prevention of an arms race in outer space”. According to the Russian side, the US is trying “to distract international attention from the real threats in space to justify the steps they are taking to placing weapons in outer space and to seek additional funding for these purposes”. Special indignation of Moscow was the fact that Washington has criticized in her address a few days before the talks in Vienna. “It is unclear what the purpose of American colleagues. It is hoped that in this way they are not trying to predict the tone and outcome of the meeting and complicate the establishment of such an important the international community at the bilateral dialogue on space issues and strategic stability in General”,— said on Smolensk square. At the same time, it stressed that Russia is ready to “substantive and meaningful” dialogue with the United States security space.From voiced before the consultations in Vienna, the public statements of the parties, we can conclude that chances to agree on “hot line” to space, Russia and the United States. However, the issue of formulating a code of responsible conduct in that environment a breakthrough is not expected. Christopher Ford as a reference point called the work of the international community on the norms of conduct of States in cyberspace. However, this is not a good example: to make cybercoders States in the UN are trying for more than 15 years, but still in this area there are no legally binding agreements. Security issues in space delegations discussed yesterday more than ten hours. At the same time, Russia was in a group including the commander of the space forces Colonel-General Alexander Golovko, and the US — responsible for space in the national security Council Brigadier General Troy Endicott.No less difficult will be, apparently, and talks the other two groups. So, for example, is variously called the second of them: Russia speaks of “doctrines and capabilities,” and US on the “doctrines and uncovered the warheads.” It seems a small thing, but the difference is important. With doctrines like everything is more or less clear: the two sides accuse each other that their doctrines of the last years allow limited use of nuclear weapons in regional conflicts and thus work for the lowering of the nuclear threshold. The American delegation beforehand hinted that he would like in this connection to discuss the Russian nonstrategic nuclear weapons. The West believes that if Russia decides to cause a limited nuclear strike, it’s just a tactical weapon. It is any Treaty is not limited, hence the term “unreached warheads”. The Russian delegation is ready to discuss their tactical arsenals, but only if the US agreed to withdraw its nuclear weapons from Europe and stop the practice of holding joint nuclear missions with non-nuclear countries—members of NATO. Hence the emphasis on “potential”. And if negotiators in Vienna have a chance to expand your understanding of the concepts of use of nuclear weapons the opposite side, to reach a compromise on capabilities or the weapons they are at this stage unlikely.Group on transparency and verification will also have a difficult conversation. USA make it clear that he would like to discuss such measures, regardless of the actions of those or other agreements in the nuclear-missile sphere, while Russia any steps believes derived from specific agreements. In practice, this difference in approach means that even in case of expiration of the start Treaty in February 2021 U.S. think it is possible to develop with Russia a regime of inspections and notifications. Russia also insists on extending the start Treaty.However, whatever the outcome of the consultations in Vienna, in fact, any arrangement will be considered a achievement. This is another difference from the time of the reboot.Elena Chernenko