CIA Director Invoice Burns met together with his Russian intelligence counterpart, Sergey Naryshkin, in Ankara Monday as a part of an ongoing effort by the US to “talk with Russia on managing danger” and to debate the instances of “unjustly detained US residents,” a Nationwide Safety Council spokesperson tells CNN.
“We’ve got been very open about the truth that we’ve got channels to speak with Russia on managing danger, particularly nuclear danger and dangers to strategic stability,” the spokesperson mentioned. “As a part of this effort, Invoice Burns is in Ankara as we speak to satisfy together with his Russian intelligence counterpart.”
CNN has beforehand reported that nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan has additionally been in contact together with his Russian counterparts to warn them of the implications ought to Russia use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine.
The spokesperson emphasised that Burns “isn’t conducting negotiations of any form.”
“He’s not discussing settlement of the conflict in Ukraine. He’s conveying a message on the implications of using nuclear weapons by Russia, and the dangers of escalation to strategic stability. He will even increase the instances of unjustly detained US residents.”
The spokesperson added that the US briefed Ukraine on the assembly prematurely of Burns’ journey.
“We firmly persist with our basic precept: nothing about Ukraine with out Ukraine,” the spokesperson mentioned.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that the assembly passed off, in keeping with Russian state media outlet TASS.
“Such negotiations actually passed off. It occurred on the initiative of the American facet,” Peskov mentioned.
The Biden administration has dispatched Burns a number of occasions during the last yr for talks with the Russians, utilizing the veteran diplomat and former US ambassador to Russia as a key middleman as US-Russia relations have continued to say no. Burns was despatched to Moscow final November, earlier than Russia invaded Ukraine, to warn the Kremlin of the implications of an invasion. He has additionally been concerned in discussions with Naryshkin about US residents detained in Russia, together with Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan.
The discussions are additionally a part of an ongoing effort by the US to maintain the traces of communication open with Moscow amid thinly veiled threats by Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia may use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine.
“Within the occasion of a risk to the territorial integrity of our nation and to defend Russia and our individuals, we will definitely make use of all weapon programs accessible to us. This isn’t a bluff,” Putin warned in a speech in September.
He later appeared to reverse himself, saying in October that “we see no want for” nuclear weapons in Ukraine. “There isn’t any level in that, neither political, nor navy.”
Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu additionally spoke by cellphone late final month for the primary time since Might, as intelligence surfaced that Russian navy officers had mentioned how and beneath what situations Russia would use a tactical nuclear weapon on the battlefield in Ukraine, CNN has beforehand reported.
Russian officers additionally final month started alleging that Ukraine is getting ready to make use of a “soiled bomb”– an allegation the US frightened was merely a pretext for Russia to make use of one itself, and that the Worldwide Atomic Power Company debunked after an investigation of Ukrainian websites.
The US has nonetheless not seen any indicators that Putin has determined to take the drastic step of utilizing a nuclear weapon, officers mentioned.