White Home official says the 2 spy company chiefs in Ankara didn’t focus on any negotiations over the struggle in Ukraine however talked in regards to the penalties of nuclear weapons.
CIA Director William Burns has met his Russian counterpart, Sergey Naryshkin, the top of Russia’s Overseas Intelligence Service, within the Turkish capital, Ankara, the Kremlin has confirmed.
In keeping with the TASS information company, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned: “Such negotiations actually befell. It was the initiative of the American aspect.”
A White Home official mentioned the discussions between Burns and Naryshkin on Monday have been in regards to the penalties of utilizing nuclear weapons.
United States President Joe Biden had an identical dialog with Chinese language President Xi Jinping over lowering the specter of nuclear struggle in Ukraine.
However the US official, who spoke to the Reuters information company on the situation of anonymity, mentioned: “[Burns] is just not conducting negotiations of any type. He isn’t discussing settlement of the struggle in Ukraine.”
“He’s conveying a message on the implications of the usage of nuclear weapons by Russia and the dangers of escalation to strategic stability,” the official mentioned.
“He can even elevate the instances of unjustly detained US residents,” the official mentioned.
Burns, a former US ambassador to Russia, was despatched to Russia in 2021 by Biden to warning President Vladimir Putin about his troop build-up round Ukraine.
“We briefed Ukraine prematurely on his journey,” the US official mentioned. “We firmly stick with our basic precept: nothing about Ukraine with out Ukraine.”
Whereas the assembly between Russia and the US was first reported by Russia’s Kommersant newspaper, The Related Press reported that two Turkish officers have mentioned they didn’t find out about a gathering between US and Russian delegations.
Final month, Biden declared that the danger of nuclear “armageddon” is at its highest degree for the reason that 1962 Cuban missile disaster.
Since Moscow’s unlawful annexation of 4 areas in Ukraine, Russia has repeatedly mentioned it would defend its territories with all accessible means, together with nuclear weapons.
Earlier than a G20 summit will get beneath approach in Bali on Tuesday, Biden spoke to Xi and mentioned Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine, which “reaffirmed our shared perception within the menace or the usage of nuclear weapons is completely unacceptable”.
The talks referenced Moscow’s thinly veiled threats to make use of atomic weapons as its invasion of Ukraine reached its ninth month.
The US and Russia have quite a few points to debate apart from the struggle in Ukraine, starting from the extension of the START arms treaty and the Black Sea grain export deal, which is because of expire quickly.
UN Secretary Normal Antonio Guterres was requested in Bali in regards to the US-Russian contact in Turkey, and he mentioned the United Nations was not concerned within the talks.
“It’s very constructive that the US and Russia are having talks as a result of that’s a particularly related improvement in relation to the longer term, however we aren’t concerned,” Guterres mentioned.
Biden mentioned this month that he hoped Putin can be keen to debate a potential prisoner swap to safe the discharge of US basketball star Brittney Griner, sentenced to 9 years in jail on medication expenses, and former US Marine Paul Whelan, who was sentenced in 2020 to 16 years on espionage expenses.
Viktor Bout, a Russian arms supplier jailed within the US, has been talked about as an individual who may very well be swapped for Griner and Whelan in any future prisoner alternate.