US and Russian spy chiefs hold talks in Ankara – DW – 11/14/2022

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CIA Director William Burns met in the Turkish capital Ankara on Monday with the director of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, Sergey Naryshkin, according to a White House official.

The two spy chiefs discussed nuclear threats from Russia, an unnamed White House National Security Council official told the Associated Press news agency.

Burns and Naryshkin sidestepped the issue of Russia’s war in Ukraine and a potential resolution, the official confirmed to the AP. Burns instead warned Naryshkin of the consequences if Russia deployed a nuclear weapon in Ukraine.

“We stand firmly by our fundamental principle: nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine,” the US National Security Council said in a statement.

Monday’s meeting is seen as the highest-level face-to-face meeting between US-Russian officials since the war began in February.

He is also expected to discuss the cases of two Americans, women’s basketball star and former US Olympian Brittney Griner and former US Marine Paul Whelan, who were detained in Russia and face long sentences in a penal colony.

A US official told the AP news agency that Kyiv had been briefed ahead of the meeting.

What did Russia say?

The Russian newspaper Kommersant reported earlier on Monday that Naryshkin was in Ankara for high-level talks with his American counterpart.

Russian Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the meeting to Russian media an “initiative of the American side”, without providing details on the content.

Flight-tracking data showed a Russian government plane used by Naryshkin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov landed in Ankara on Monday, Istanbul-based analyst Yoruk Isik said.

Sergey Naryshkin, Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, President of the Russian Historical Society, speaks during an opening ceremony of the Battle Prayer Memorial in the town of Nikolskoye near St. Petersburg
Sergey Naryshkin is the director of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, known as SVRImage: Alexander Demianchuk/TASS/dpa

The meeting was not announced in advance or previously disclosed.

Last month, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke by telephone with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu.

ar/fb (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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