WASHINGTON – The purpose of the visit of CIA Director William Burns to Moscow was to understand Russia’s intentions towards Ukraine and to warn of Washington’s attention to the movement of Russian troops around the Ukrainian border, CNN reported.
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“President Joe Biden sent CIA Director William Burns to Moscow earlier this week to warn the Kremlin that the United States is closely monitoring the build-up of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine, and to try to determine the motives for Russia’s actions,” CNN said, according to their sources.
It states that “the United States is increasingly concerned about the irregular movement of Russian troops and equipment near the northern border with Ukraine.”
CNN notes that “the Biden administration has stepped up its efforts in recent days to de-escalate the growing tensions between Moscow and Kyiv.” After his meetings in Russia, Burns “spoke on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in an attempt to defuse these tensions,” according to the channel’s sources.
The CIA chief also voiced US concerns that Russia is “close to” using gas exports as leverage, while Ukraine and other European countries are predicted to face an energy crisis in the winter.
“The build-up (of troops on the border – IF) combined with energy blackmail suggests a more aggressive stance from Russia,” Zelenskiy’s adviser told CNN.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Friday: “We continue to observe unusual activity by the Russian military near the border with Ukraine. We continue to consult with allies and partners on this topic,” he said.
“I cannot talk about Russia’s intentions, I cannot go into the details of the intelligence assessments, but I will note that any actions by Russia aimed at escalation or aggression will seriously concern the United States,” Kirby added.
Republican Congressmen Mike Rogers and Mike Turner called on US President Joe Biden to expand arms supplies to Ukraine and build up a military presence in the Black Sea, Defense News reported.
In a letter to the president, the legislators noted that these measures are necessary to prevent the threat of “a new invasion by Russian troops.”
Earlier this week, US media outlets circulated reports of an alleged Russian troop build-up on the Russian-Ukrainian border.
For example, the Politico newspaper published satellite photographs, which, in its opinion, confirm that Russia is concentrating troops and military equipment on the border with Ukraine.
At the same time, the publication noted that the pictures, which allegedly testify to the build-up of tanks, self-propelled guns, and military personnel by Russia, were taken in the area of the Russian city of Yelnya. At the same time, Politico did not indicate that Yelnya is located in the Smolensk region, bordering Belarus, and not Ukraine.
The Washington Post newspaper, citing its sources, also reported that officials in the United States and Europe in recent weeks have noted “a build-up of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine” after the Russian-Belarusian military exercises “West 2021”, which “causes concern.”
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