Russian and the U.S. confirmed that the heads of the two countries’ foreign intelligence services met on Monday in Turkey, but the meeting was not about ways to end the conflict in Ukraine.
Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russian and American intelligence chiefs had met in Ankara on Monday.
According to The New York Times, the White House in Washington said that William Burns, director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), met with his Russian counterpart in Turkey on Monday. The news was first reported this morning by the Moscow business daily Kommersant, which said that Foreign Intelligence Service (FIS) Director Sergey Naryshkin had flown to Ankara for talks with his U.S. counterpart.
Dmitry Peskov told reporters in the morning that he could neither confirm nor deny the information about the contacts, but in the afternoon he told TASS/TRANS that the bilateral event had taken place at the U.S.’s initiative.
According to U.S. newspapers, Burns warned Russia to refrain from using nuclear weapons in Ukraine. The U.S. National Security Council has said that the Ankara talks were not about settling the war in Ukraine and that Kyiv had been informed in advance by Washington of the details.
The meeting was not announced in advance, although Kommersant wrote about a possible meeting last week. A Russian and U.S. delegation last met in Geneva on Jan. 10 to discuss security guarantees demanded by Moscow.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told reporters on Monday that his country would not accept any preconditions set by anyone on the possibility of settlement talks in Ukraine.