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17 Jan, 2023 12:10

New meeting with CIA’s Burns ‘possible’ – Russian spy chief

Heads of the two intelligence services previously held talks in mid-November
New meeting with CIA’s Burns ‘possible’ – Russian spy chief

Sergey Naryshkin, who heads Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), has said he is willing to have a face-to-face meeting with his counterpart from the CIA, Director William Burns. The two previously held a meeting in Ankara in mid-November.

Russia's top spy said on Tuesday that a new engagement with Burns was “possible,” the news agency TASS reported.

Türkiye’s National Intelligence Organization hosted the previous meeting between the two in November last year, which reportedly lasted for about two and a half hours. The senior officials discussed nuclear threats arising from the Ukraine conflict and ways to mitigate them, according to the American side. Then, Burns reportedly traveled to Kiev to meet Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lamented last month that the event in Türkiye was made public, blaming a leak in Washington.

“The Americans themselves told us ten times that this channel of communication was absolutely confidential and should not be disclosed … so that it would not be tainted by some propagandistic spin,” he told journalists.

“We agreed. But as soon as they landed in Ankara, [the news] got immediately leaked. I don’t know where from, whether it was the White House or the Department of State,” he added.

In his interview with TASS on Tuesday, Naryshkin discussed the Ukraine crisis, and Russia’s cooperation with China and Iran.