The Russian Security Council Secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, met with the CIA Director, William Burns, in Moscow on Tuesday, November 2, to discuss” Russian-American relations”. As specified, this was the first time Patrushev met Burns since the latter was appointed to lead the CIA (they met before in 2013 when Burns was serving as acting Secretary of State).
It is noted that Patrushev maintains contact with the US National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, having held 6 phone talks and 1 personal meeting with him earlier in the year. However, the visit of the CIA Director to Russia was not announced in advance. Among the topics discussed were, among others, cybersecurity and the fight against terrorism.
Earlier, the Kremlin expressed hope that Russia and the US will continue their closed cybersecurity dialogue. It was also agreed to continue contacts between the two countries in regard to issues related to Ukraine after US Under Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, visited Russia in October of this year.
“We agree that top-level contacts are necessary both from the point of view of our bilateral relations and in terms of our dialogue on a ‘broader geography’. […] Contacts with the US side will continue”, the Kremlin Spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said.
However, some tensions between the countries, however, remain, although the Russian Permanent Representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, admitted that “this year, the situation has become better”. In particular, Russia and the US are still to resolve issues around their diplomatic operations in Washington and Moscow.