Washington is “very, very concerned” with the movements of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine, CNN reports, stressing that the recent visit of CIA chief Bill Burns to Moscow was intended to warn the Kremlin of the consequences of a new offensive against Kiev. Burns was also scheduled to hold an interview with the President of Ukraine.
CNN television in the report cites, inter alia, European diplomats to whom the US has approached in recent days, pointing to the gravity of the situation. “The administration is very, very concerned – most concerned about Russia in a very, very long time,” said one CNN-cited diplomat. The reasons are supposed to be the movements of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine.
“I would not underestimate it. It is a great action on their part to raise awareness on this subject,” he added. According to another cited source, concerns about Russian troop movements – described as unprecedented – are “quite specific”.
A representative of the State Department also told the television about serious concerns, adding that excluding a renewed Russian invasion of Ukraine would be “stupid”.
Visit of the head of CNN in Moscow
CNN reports that the situation near the border with Ukraine was the main reason for the visit to Moscow on November 2-3 of the head of the Central Intelligence Agency Bill Burns, who met with the director of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, and the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergei Naryshkin. The aim of the talks was to “warn the Kremlin that the US is closely monitoring the concentration of troops near the Ukrainian border and try to establish the motivation of Russia’s actions.” The director of the American service was also supposed to raise the topic of Russia’s use of energy as a weapon against Europe.
Burns was also to have a telephone conversation with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. One of Zelensky’s advisers was said to have told CNN that Russia’s actions combined with energy blackmail “suggest a more aggressive attitude by Russia.”
On Wednesday, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, spoke about the Russian movements, saying that the US is closely monitoring the situation, but it is too early to draw unequivocal conclusions.
Main photo source: Reuters Archive