Date: 5 November 2021

CIA Director Visits Moscow At President Biden’s Request

CIA Director William Burns flew to Moscow for two-day talks with top Russian officials. At President Biden’s request, Burns was leading a delegation of senior American officials on the trip to Moscow. In the Russian capital, Burns held at least two meetings: with the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) chief and the secretary of the Security Council.


While in Moscow (November 2–3), Burns met Nikolai Patrushev, the powerful secretary of the Kremlin’s Security Council and a close associate of Vladimir Putin. The two “discussed Russian-U.S. relations,” the Council’s press service said in a short statement. No further details were disclosed. It was Patrushev’s first meeting with Burns since the senior U.S. official was appointed the director of the CIA. The two men know each other because Burns was a U.S. ambassador to Moscow in 2005–2008. He was an architect of the Russian reset, an attempt by the Obama administration to improve relations between the United States and Russia. In addition, Burns met with Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) chief Sergei Naryshkin and the two discussed U.S.-Russia cooperation in fighting international terrorism. The meeting took place at the initiative of the American said, according to the Russians. The U.S. delegation flew to Russia at President Biden’s request, marking another high-level U.S.-Russia meeting. Last month, Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland traveled to Moscow. All these talks confirm that the U.S. administration is looking to cooperate with Moscow.

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