US sends CIA chief to Moscow to meet with Russians

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Bill Burns, director of the US intelligence agency CIA, is leading a delegation of senior US officials to Moscow for a series of two-day meetings with Russian officials, a US embassy spokesman said on Tuesday.

“They are meeting with members of the Russian government to discuss a range of issues in bilateral relations,” the spokesman said without giving further details.

One such meeting was between Burns and the head of the National Security Council. Russia, Nikolai Petrushev. A brief statement from the powerful council said the two sides discussed “Russian-American relations”. The meeting was not announced in advance and the CIA, which does not discuss the director’s agenda, declined to comment.

Rare – but not unheard of – meetings between the CIA chief and senior Russian security officials take place amid continuing tensions between Washington and Moscow.

Biden government imposes sanctions on Russia related to election interference, to poison disgruntled critic Alexey Navalny and cyber attacks on US interests. Officials are closely monitoring the recent movements of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border. Russia is also under sanctions for its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Nevertheless, the United States sees opportunities for cooperation with Russia, particularly in arms control, and under previous administrations the intelligence community has sought points of mutual interest with Moscow.

Former President Trump’s first CIA director, Mike Pompeo, wrote in a letter advocating the meeting with senior CIA officials, writing, “We meet from time to time with our Russian intelligence partners—with our predecessors—to keep Americans safe. for.” Russian Intelligence 2018 in Washington The meeting attracted attention mainly because it took place on US soil, with officials who were subject to US sanctions.

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A seasoned diplomat, Burns has extensive experience in Russia. He served as the US ambassador there from 2005 to 2008.

At an event in Washington last week, National Security Adviser for Emerging and Cyber ​​Technologies Anne Neuberger said the Biden administration has maintained an “open, direct and frank dialogue” with Russia on the issue of cyber attacks.

Biden pressured Putin to suppress a wave of damaging ransomware attacks on US organizations including critical infrastructure from Russia and announced the start of US-Russia cybersecurity talks at the end of a summit with Putin in Switzerland in June .

A senior government official told reporters last month on condition of anonymity, the US government “shared information with Russia about criminal ransomware activity in its territory.”

However, it is not clear whether the talks lead to concrete results. Nobelium, the Russian hacker group responsible hack solarwindsMicrosoft said last week that it has committed 14 tech companies since May as part of another apparent spying campaign.

(This text has been translated from English; read right here Original)

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