CIA Director Has A Warning For Vladimir Putin

( According to a White House spokesperson, William J. Burns, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, met with his Russian counterpart on Monday in Turkey to caution Russia against using nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

The talks in Ankara were part of the administration’s efforts to step up its communications with senior officials in Russia, which has made numerous veiled threats about using a nuclear weapon in Ukraine. They were the highest-level face-to-face meetings between senior Russian and American officials since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

According to the National Security Council, the purpose of the meeting was not to negotiate or discuss a possible end to the war in Ukraine. According to the spokesman, Ukraine was informed in advance of the trip.

President Biden has reiterated that Ukraine will determine whether and when negotiations to end the fighting begins, not the United States. The Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Mark A. Milley, America’s top general, has advocated in closed-door meetings that Ukraine should negotiate to cement its recent gains. However, a disagreement has emerged at the highest levels of the U.S. government over whether to press Ukraine to seek a diplomatic end to the war with Russia.

General Valeriy Zaluzhny, the head of the Ukrainian military, stated in a post on the messaging app Telegram on Monday that he had spoken to General Milley and restated the nation’s position on potential negotiations: Russia must leave before any talks can take place.

He wrote, “The Ukrainian military will not accept any conversations, agreements, or compromise decisions.”

President Vladimir V. Putin is being discouraged from using a tactical nuclear bomb or another weapon of mass destruction in the battle, according to U.S. and European leaders. Senior American officials claim that senior Russian military officers have lately discussed the idea of using a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine, despite Mr. Putin’s denials that Moscow is prepared to use a weapon in the nation.

Russian business daily Kommersant claimed on Monday that Sergei Naryshkin, the head of the nation’s foreign intelligence service, was leading the Russian delegation in Ankara.

Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, acknowledged the existence of a meeting to the Russian state news agency Tass. He claimed that the United States had proposed the conference, but he did not say what was discussed. The C.I.A. declined to comment; the organization never addresses the director’s travels.

More than six months after their last known direct talks broke down, Russian and Ukrainian officials have made different public pronouncements in recent weeks regarding future peace negotiations. But according to U.S. officials, there won’t be any negotiations anytime soon because both sides now believe that continuing the conflict will improve their bargaining positions.