Secret Nuke Talks With Putin Are Being Held

According to US and allied officials, President Biden’s top national security advisor has recently held private conversations with senior advisers to Russian President Vladimir Putin in an effort to lessen the possibility of a wider conflict over Ukraine and caution Moscow against using nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction.

According to the officials, Mr. Putin’s foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov and Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, have spoken on the phone.

The officials indicated that Mr. Sullivan has also spoken with Nikolai Patrushev, his direct counterpart in the Russian government. According to the authorities, the objective has been to prevent the risk of escalation and maintain open lines of communication rather than to seek a resolution to the conflict in Ukraine.

When asked if Mr. Sullivan had secret communications with Messrs. Ushakov or Patrushev, spokeswoman Adrienne Watson of the National Security Council responded, “People claim a lot of things,” and made no more comments.

In response to a question on the secret communications, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated on Monday that “Anglo-Saxon newspapers have been publishing numerous hoaxes.”

Since Mr. Sullivan spoke with Mr. Patrushev in March, the White House has not made any public acknowledgment of any calls between him and any senior Russian official.

The secretive talks come at a time when traditional diplomatic ties between Washington and Moscow are waning and Vladimir Putin and his advisers have suggested they may use nuclear weapons to defend Russian territory and the gains from this year’s invasion of Ukraine.

The White House has stated that keeping in touch with Moscow is essential for pursuing a number of shared national-security priorities, notwithstanding its support for Ukraine and sanctions against Russia for the invasion.

Even if other top policymakers believe that negotiations with Russia wouldn’t be successful given the current diplomatic and military climate, several U.S. officials claimed that Mr. Sullivan is known within the administration for advocating for a channel of communication with that country.

The exact dates and numbers of the calls, as well as whether or not they were fruitful, were not disclosed by the officials.




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