Ankara/Moscow: William Burns, Director of the US intelligence agency CIA, has issued a serious warning to Russia regarding the possible use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Burns had warned that Russia’s use of nuclear weapons would have serious consequences and threaten strategic stability, the White House said. Earlier, US President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also had reprimanded Russia over nuclear weapons. However, this is the first time the United States issued such a warning during face-to-face talks with senior Russian officials.
The heads of intelligence agencies of Russia and the United States met in Turkey on Monday. The Russian daily “Kommersant” stated in its report that Sergei Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s intelligence agency “SVR”, visited Turkey along with other top officials. The US National Security Council spokesperson also confirmed the report that the CIA Director, William Burns, is in Turkey with senior officials.
A spokesman for the National Security Council had said before the meeting that ‘The United States is still open to dialogue with Russia on nuclear threats and strategic stability, and has never ruled it out. As part of it, the head of the CIA will meet with the head of the Russian intelligence service in Ankara.’ After that, a White House spokesperson said the CIA chief’s meeting was about nuclear weapons.
The White House spokesperson claimed that ‘William Burns has not gone for any negotiations. There have been no talks on finding a solution to the Ukraine conflict. The visit was to warn Russia about nuclear weapons. If Russia launches such an attack on Ukraine, there will be serious implications. It was also warned that there would even be a threat to strategic stability.’ The CIA has not issued any official reaction to it. Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed reports of Russian and US intelligence chiefs meeting in Turkey but declined to give further details.
CIA chief William Burns visited Russia in November last year. He interacted with Russian President Vladimir Putin during this visit through a video conference. At that time, Burns had warned that the United States knew about Russia’s plans to attack Ukraine and would respond accordingly. It is the first time that Burns has met senior Russian officials since then.
In a recent statement, General Mark Milley, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, had advised that Ukraine should take the opportunity to negotiate with Russia. A strong reaction emerged from Ukraine over the statement. Before that, reports stated that the United States was pressuring Ukraine for peace talks. Against this backdrop, the visit of the intelligence chiefs of the United States and Russia to Turkey is noteworthy.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, reports revealed that Russia launched major missile attacks on Kharkiv and other cities along with the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv.
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