U.S. Confirms Talks with Russia in Turkey on Nuclear War Risk, Not Ukraine

The White House has confirmed to Newsweek that delegations from the United States and Russia had been at present holding talks in Turkey, however mentioned the discussions had been centered round mitigating the nuclear risk between the 2 nations, not on the present battle in Ukraine.

“We have been very open about the fact that we have channels to communicate with Russia on managing risk, especially nuclear risk and risks to strategic stability,” a spokesperson for the National Security Council advised Newsweek.

The spokesperson went on to say that, “as part of this effort,” CIA Director William 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,” the spokesperson mentioned. “He is conveying a message on the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons by Russia, and the risks of escalation to strategic stability. He will also raise the cases of unjustly detained US citizens.”

“We briefed Ukraine in advance on his trip,” the spokesperson added. “We firmly stick to our fundamental principle: nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine.”

Reports of the talks first emerged Monday within the Russian newspaper Kommersant, which mentioned that Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Sergey Naryshkin was in attendance.

After initially neither confirming nor denying, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov finally additionally validated the stories, telling the state-run TASS Russian News Agency that “such negotiations did, indeed, take place” and “they were initiated by the U.S. side.”

Russia, US, flags, Embassy, Moscow
A Russian flag flies subsequent to the US embassy constructing in Moscow on December 7, 2021.

Ankara has been essentially the most lively mediator between Kyiv and Moscow since Russia launched its warfare towards neighboring Ukraine in February. In July, Turkey managed to get either side to signal on to a grain export deal, assuaging a worldwide meals disaster spurred on by the battle and was capable of safe Russia’s return to the settlement earlier this month after the Kremlin initially stop over a drone assault towards Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

But as hostilities proceed with no diplomatic decision in sight, President Joe Biden and his administration have repeatedly raised considerations about nuclear rhetoric utilized by Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin has, in flip, accused the White House of adopting harmful positions by growing navy support to Ukraine and searching for to weaken Russia strategically.

In an announcement revealed earlier this month, the Russian Foreign Ministry asserted that Russia “is strictly and consistently guided by the tenet that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

“Russian doctrinal approaches in this sphere are defined with utmost accuracy, pursue solely defensive goals and do not admit of expansive interpretation,” the assertion added. “These approaches allow for Russia to hypothetically resort to nuclear weapons exclusively in response to an aggression involving the use of weapons of mass destruction or an aggression with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is in jeopardy.”

Biden, for his half, issued the discharge of his personal nation’s stance on the problem late final month within the type of the newest Nuclear Posture Review. Like the National Defense Strategy and Missile Defense Review revealed alongside it, the doc outlined threats from each Russia and China, and it additionally appeared to go away room for the function of nuclear weapons in response to non-nuclear threats.

“As long as nuclear weapons exist, the fundamental role of nuclear weapons is to deter nuclear attack on the United States, our Allies, and partners,” the coverage learn. “The United States would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its Allies and partners.”

In a piece referencing Russia and China, particularly, the doc mentioned that “in a potential conflict with a competitor, the United States would need to be able to deter opportunistic aggression by another competitor.”

“We will rely in part on nuclear weapons to help mitigate this risk,” the doc added, “recognizing that a near-simultaneous conflict with two nuclear-armed states would constitute an extreme circumstance.”

This is a growing information story. More data will likely be added because it turns into accessible.

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