Ukraine Monitor presents the latest news concerning internal and external matters of Ukraine – a unique country where the interests of the East and the West clash almost every day.
Date: 30 November 2022 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński
CIA Chief Warns Russia’s SVR Director
Occasional high-level contacts between the United States and Russia are essentially due to Washington’s concerns over Moscow’s far-reaching movements in its war with Ukraine. The meeting between the director of the CIA and the head of the SVR foreign intelligence agency is part of the U.S. policy alongside the talks that took place beforehand between the U.S. national security advisor, the secretary of defense, and their Russian counterparts.
CIA Director Bill Burns met with his Russian intelligence counterpart, Sergey Naryshkin, in Ankara in mid-November. The meeting was hosted by Turkey’s intelligence agency, MIT. Burns also raised in his meeting the matter of Americans detained in Russia. According to The New York Times, the meeting was not an attempt to negotiate with Russia over the end of the war as American officials have repeatedly insisted no peace talks will be conducted without the involvement of Ukraine’s government. The United States had briefed Ukraine on the meeting in advance of Burns’ trip. Burns then traveled to Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his intelligence counterparts. The U.S. official made also a trip to Warsaw to meet Polish President Andrzej Duda. While in Kyiv, Burns reiterated U.S. support to Ukraine and passed some information on the meeting with Naryshkin. The U.S. foreign spy chief delivered a message to Russia’s Naryshkin about the consequences of a potential Russian use of nuclear weapons. Burns’ trip to Kyiv coincided with the biggest Russian missile attack on Ukraine since February 24. The meeting in Ankara was the first known high-level face-to-face U.S.-Russian contact since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The discussions are part of the Biden administration’s efforts to step up its communications with senior Russian officials to convey concerns about the nuclear threat. Reports that Russian generals debated whether to deploy tactical nuclear weapons raised concerns in Washington back in October when the Kremlin accused Ukraine of planning to use a so-called dirty bomb. In October U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin had talks twice with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about Russian threats to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan held some phone calls with his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev.
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