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Kremlin says US-Russian spy chiefs’ meeting in Turkish capital held at request of US

The undisclosed meeting of the heads of the CIA and the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service was held in the Turkish capital Ankara at the request of the US, the Kremlin said on Monday.

"Such negotiations really took place. It was the initiative of the American side," Russian state news agency TASS cited Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

While Peskov didn’t disclose the agenda of the meeting, he confirmed the meeting between CIA Director Bill Burns and his Russian counterpart Sergey Naryshkin in Ankara.

Earlier in the day, an official from the White House National Security Council, who asked to remain anonymous, also told Anadolu Agency that communication channels with Russia are open, especially regarding managing risk, in particular the risk of a nuclear attack and risks to strategic stability.

"As part of this effort, Bill Burns is in Ankara today to meet with his Russian intelligence counterpart. He is not conducting negotiations of any kind. He is not discussing settlement of the war in Ukraine. He is conveying a message on the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons by Russia, and the risks of escalation to strategic stability," the official said.

The official added that Burns would also bring up the cases of "unjustly" detained US citizens, adding: "We briefed Ukraine in advance on his trip. We firmly stick to our fundamental principle: nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine."

Türkiye has been internationally praised for its policy of balance towards Russia amid the Ukraine war, allowing it to broker such breakthroughs as the Black Sea grain corridor deal this summer.

Türkiye has pushed for a cease-fire in the war and expressed firm opposition to any use of nuclear weapons, among apparent hint that such arms could be used.

Source: Anadolu Agency