William Burns: CIA Director Warns Russia Against Using Nuclear Weapons In Ukraine | International
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The director of the CIA, William Burns, met this Monday in Ankara with his counterpart from the Russian secret services abroad, Sergei Narishki, to warn him against the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, as confirmed by a spokesman for the Security Council. White House Homeland Security.
The appointment, advanced by the Russian newspaper Kommersant, has come amid a flurry of diplomatic contacts in recent days to discuss the war in Ukraine and the next stages of the conflict. Especially after the Russian withdrawal from Kherson, the only provincial capital that Moscow had managed to take since the start of the invasion in February. In October, after holding illegal referendums, it had declared that area Russian territory, along with the Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhia oblasts.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his entourage have repeatedly hinted at the possibility of resorting to tactical nuclear weapons to defend occupied areas in Ukraine that they consider part of Russian territory. Washington fears that an accumulation of setbacks on the ground could make the Kremlin want to make what has so far been nothing more than worrying bullshit a reality. The National Security Council has stressed that the meeting did not include any type of negotiation or dialogue on the end of the war.
Although the US government has tried to encourage the government of Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky to declare itself more open to talks with Moscow, Washington insists that Ukraine should decide whether, when, and under what conditions it wants to negotiate with Russia. . And kyiv is not at the moment ready to negotiate with its aggressor at all. Especially now that it has chained victory after victory in the counteroffensive that it has maintained since September, and that it has recovered thousands of square kilometers occupied by Russia. His analysis is that it can still gain more territory — ideally, even recapture the Crimean peninsula, illegally annexed by Russia in 2014 — and Moscow is not a bona fide interlocutor.
An analysis with which the White House agrees. But other figures in the Administration, especially the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, have urged taking advantage of what has been achieved so far and consolidating it in negotiations, given the approach of winter and the conviction that the conflict cannot be resolved by the military way.
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According to the White House, Washington had informed the authorities in kyiv about the meeting before Burns, a former ambassador to Moscow, began the trip. The CIA director has already met with representatives of the Russian secret services in Istanbul, and in Armenia in June.
Meanwhile, in the last two weeks, the National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, has traveled to kyiv to meet with Zelenski, and the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, spoke in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmitro Kuleba , this weekend. The Ukrainian issue has also been one of the dominant issues in the face-to-face meeting this Monday between the US President, Joe Biden, and the Chinese head of state, Xi Jinping, in Nusa Dua (Indonesia) this Monday, in the margins of the G20 summit.
“The problem with these contacts recently has been the impression on the American side that talking to senior officials in the Kremlin sometimes feels like talking to a TV screen playing Russian propaganda. But maybe after Kherson it will be different,” analyst Alexander Gabuev, from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote on Twitter.
According to the National Security Council, Burns has also raised the situation of basketball player Brittney Griner, detained in Russia since this summer and charged with drug possession and smuggling. Griner has recently been transferred to a prison in a more remote part of Russian territory, as denounced by Washington.
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