The CIA director met with his Russian intelligence counterpart in Turkey

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William Burns outlined to Sergei Naryshkin the consequences if Russia deploys a nuclear weapon in Ukraine. The meeting was the highest-ranking meeting between US and Russian officials since before Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion

CIA director met with his Russian intelligence counterpart in Turkey

CIA director William Burns (Tasos Katopodis via REUTERS /file)

CIA Director Bill Burns met Monday in Ankara, Turkey, with his Russian intelligence counterpart forstress the consequences if Russia deploys a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, according to a White House National Security Council official.

The official, who was not authorized to comment publicly and speaking on condition of anonymity, said Burns and Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia's foreign spy agency SVR , did not discuss the resolution. of the war in Ukraine.

Before the meeting, White House officials said Burns planned to raise the cases of Phoenix Mercury basketball star Brittney Griner and Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan. Two Americans detained in Russia who the Biden administration has been pressuring to release in a prisoner swap.

The Burns-Naryshkin meeting was the highest-ranking face-to-face meeting between US and Russian officials since before Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion in February.

The CIA director met with his Russian intelligence counterpart in Turkey

FILE PHOTO: Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia's foreign intelligence agency, attends a Victory Day military parade, marking the 76th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, in the square Roja in central Moscow, Russia May 9, 2021. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

The official said Ukrainian authorities were informed before Burns' trip to Turkey.

President Joe Biden after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, told reporters that the two discussed Russia's war in Ukraine. Biden added that they “reaffirmed our shared belief that the threat of the use of nuclear weapons is totally unacceptable.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said to the Russian state news agency Tass that the meeting between Burns and Naryshkin “did indeed take place” and that “it was an initiative on the American side”.

In Turkey, a senior adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that the country hosted the meeting between the heads of Russian and US intelligence agencies on Monday. Communications director Fahrettin Altun told The Associated Press that the meeting was “related to threats to international security, beginning with the use of nuclear weapons.”

(With information from AP)

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