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2 Nov, 2021 14:05

CIA director Burns makes clandestine visit to Moscow to meet top Russian security chief, amid worsening relations

CIA director Burns makes clandestine visit to Moscow to meet top Russian security chief, amid worsening relations

CIA director William Burns has visited Moscow for secret talks, amid ever-worsening Russian-American relations, meeting with National Security Council head Nikolai Patrushev, both Russia and the US have announced.

A brief missive, issued by Russia's National Security Council to the media on Tuesday, did not mention any details from the meeting.

The CIA boss came to Russia alongside “a delegation of high-ranking US officials,” the US Embassy in Moscow told RIA Novosti. The officials are meeting Russian government officials on November 2-3 “to discuss a number of issues in bilateral relations,” the mission added.

A short photoshoot at the start of the meeting showed the two security officials greet each other with a handshake and a nod of the head. Patrushev and Burns then sat down for a discussion surrounded by a small delegation and translators, apparently mentioning US President Joe Biden by name.

Also on rt.com Russia explains why there is no more diplomacy with NATO

News of the high-profile visit comes as consistently cold relations between Russia and the US deteriorated even further over the past few weeks. Last month, US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland traveled to Moscow for a three-day visit, meeting the country’s top officials – but the long-awaited negotiations broke down without producing any tangible results.

Nuland’s fruitless visit was followed by the breaking of ties between Russia and NATO. In October, the US-led bloc expelled eight Russian diplomats from its Brussels headquarters on the pretext of their alleged involvement in “espionage.”

Russia responded by recalling its entire delegation from Brussels, and issued an order to shut down NATO’s office in Moscow, effectively severing all remaining relations.

The long-running Russia-NATO Council meetings were blasted by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as the bloc’s tool “to teach us how to live.” The top diplomat said the mechanism, originally designed to improve bilateral ties, had achieved practically nothing.

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