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CIA director to meet Russian counterpart with warning against using nukes in Ukraine

CIA Director William Burns listens during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 14, 2021. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP, File)
CIA Director William Burns listens during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 14, 2021. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP, File)

CIA Director Bill Burns will meet in Ankara, Turkey, today with his Russian intelligence counterpart to underscore the consequences if Russia were to deploy a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, according to a White House National Security Council official.

The official, who was not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity, says Burns and Sergey Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s SVR spy agency, would not discuss settlement of the war in Ukraine.

Burns is also expected to raise the cases of Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner and Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan, two Americans detained in Russia whom the Biden administration has been pressing to release in a prisoner exchange.

The official said that Ukrainian officials were briefed ahead of Burns’ travel to Turkey.

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