The heads of the intelligence services of USA Y Russia met this Monday in Turkey in an unusual face-to-face to discuss the threats nuclear Russian in Ukraine and the Americans detained by order of the Kremlin.
William Burnshead of the CIA and former US ambassador to Moscow, was to convey to his counterpart, Sergei Naryshkina message about “the consequences of using weapons nuclear by Russia (in Ukraine) and the risks of an escalation for strategic stability”said a spokesman for the White House National Security Council.
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Burns “does not discuss an agreement” for the war in Ukraine, the same source insisted. He added that the Ukrainians were previously informed of the meeting.
It was also scheduled to address the case of Americans “unfairly” detained in Russia, such as basketball player Brittney Griner and ex-military man Paul Whelan.
“We confirm that Russian-American negotiations are taking place in Ankara today” on that matter, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday, quoted by Russian news agencies. He stressed that it is a “initiative of the US side” and declined to give details.
The Turkish presidency confirmed that Turkey hosted this meeting, at a key moment in Russia’s war against Ukraine, after the withdrawal of Russian forces from the city of Kherson last week.
These represent the highest-level direct talks between officials from both countries since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned the atomic bomb in a televised speech on September 21 in which he said he was ready to use “every means” in his arsenal if necessary against the West, which has supported Ukraine with great and continuous armament endowments.
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Since then USA and its allies have warned publicly and privately against that threat from Moscow. For example, the Secretary of Defense of the United States, Lloyd Austin, did it to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, during a telephone conversation.
Despite the war, Washington officials insist that the United States and Russia have maintained “channels of communication” since the start of the Russian offensive in February, including through the US embassy in Moscow to relay official messages.
The president of United States, Joe Bidensaid last Wednesday that he hopes his Russian counterpart will be more willing to talk about a prisoner swap.
“I hope that now that the elections are over, Mr Putin can talk to us and is willing to talk more seriously about a prisoner swap.”, declared Biden at a press conference the day after the midterm elections in the United States.
Basketball player Brittney Griner, arrested in February at a Moscow airport in possession of a vaporizer containing liquid cannabis, was sentenced to nine years in prison for “drug trafficking” and recently transferred to an unidentified prison.
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Washington has said several times that it has made a “significant offer” for the release of the athlete and ex-military officer. Paul Whelanwhich so far has not received a response.
According to Russian diplomatic sources, a possible swap could be Brittney Griner by Russian arms dealer Victor Boutwho is serving a 25-year prison sentence in the United States.
In the past, the Russians and the Americans have already carried out several prisoner exchanges.
I, Ronald Payne, am a journalist and author who dedicated his life to telling the stories that need to be said. I have over 7 years of experience as a reporter and editor, covering everything from politics to business to crime.