CIA director meets Russia’s top spy chief for secret Ukraine talks
America and Russia’s top spy chiefs met in Turkey for secret talks about the war in Ukraine as world leaders gathered at the G20 in Indonesia, UK Telegraph reports.
Bill Burns, director of the CIA, and Sergey Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence agency, met in Ankara in the first face-to-face high-level contact between Washington and Moscow since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The White House said they discussed the use of nuclear weapons, and stressed that Mr Burns is “not conducting negotiations of any kind”. The US has been openly calling for Ukraine and Russia to engage in peace talks after Kyiv’s victory recapturing the city of Kherson.
Ukraine was briefed in advance of the Ankara meeting, the White House said, adding: “We firmly stick to our fundamental principle: nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine.”
Though, the Kremlin did not confirm or deny the meeting was taking place.
The rare meeting came as world leaders gathered for the G20 summit in Bali America stepped up efforts to restart diplomacy around Ukraine following Russia’s defeat in the month-long battle for Kherson.
Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, visited the city on the bank of the Dnipro river to watch soldiers raise the Ukrainian flag on the central square.
“This is what the Russian Federation did in our country, it showed the whole world that it can kill. But all of us, our armed forces, our National Guard,” he said in remarks to the press.