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​​U.S. and Russian Spy Chiefs Hold Talks in Ankara

Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergei Naryshkin. Sergei Fadeichev / TASS

The heads of Russian and U.S. intelligence held an unannounced meeting in the Turkish capital Ankara on Monday, the Russian Kommersant newspaper reported, the first high-level face-to-face talks between the two countries since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine in late February.  

The head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergei Naryshkin arrived in Ankara on Monday to meet with CIA director William Burns, according to Reuters.

While both the Turkish authorities and the Kremlin refused to comment on the story, a spokesperson for the White House's National Security Council (NSC) confirmed the meeting to CNN correspondent Natasha Bertrand, stressing that Burns was "not conducting negotiations of any kind."

"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 U.S. citizens," Bertrand cited the NSC spokesperson as saying in a tweet.

The meeting comes as the annual G20 summit got underway on the Indonesian island of Bali, where Russian President Vladimir Putin is being represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Relations between Washington and Moscow have been at a historic low point since the war in Ukraine began. The last high-level talks between Moscow and Washington were held between Lavrov and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in January.

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