CIA Director Burns to meet Russian counterpart
Newslooks- WASHINGTON (AP)
CIA Director Bill Burns will meet in Ankara, Turkey, on Monday with his Russian intelligence counterpart to underscore the consequences if Russia were to deploy a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, according to a White House National Security Council official.
The official, who was not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Burns and Sergey Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s SVR spy agency, would not discuss settlement of the war in Ukraine. Burns is also expected to raise the cases of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, two Americans detained in Russia whom the Biden administration has been pressing to release in a prisoner exchange.
The official said that Ukrainian officials were briefed ahead of Burns’ travel to Turkey.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday he could neither confirm nor deny reports of U.S.-Russia talks in Turkey.
Two Turkish officials said they had no knowledge about a meeting between U.S. and Russian delegations. A Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan has also been in touch with his Russian counterparts to warn them of the consequences should Russia use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine.
The spokesperson emphasized that Burns “is not conducting negotiations of any kind.”
“He is not discussing settlement of the war in Ukraine. He is conveying a message on the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons by Russia, and the risks of escalation to strategic stability. He will also raise the cases of unjustly detained US citizens.”
The spokesperson added that the US briefed Ukraine on the meeting in advance of Burns’ trip.
“We firmly stick to our fundamental principle: nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine,” the spokesperson said.