Kremlin not serious about real negotiations with Kyiv - CIA chief

Kremlin not serious about real negotiations with Kyiv - CIA chief

Most conflicts end in negotiations, but that requires seriousness on the part of the Russians in this instance U.S. intelligence does not see.

That’s according to William Burns, CIA Director, who spoke with PBS, Ukrinform reports.

“At least, it's not our assessment that the Russians are serious at this point about a real negotiation,” Burns said.

He believes Vladimir Putin’s hope for winning the war of attrition is unfounded.

“The Russian military is badly battered right now. The Ukrainian military is determined to keep up the pressure, build on their battlefield successes of the last several months. But they also need time to refit and resupply,” Burns said.

Read also: Kremlin's propaganda trying to force Ukraine to talks - Defense Ministry

At the same time, he admitted that “there's nothing at all reduced about the tempo of Putin's increasingly brutal attacks against Ukrainian civilians and Ukrainian civilian infrastructure.”

The CIA chief does not underestimate for a moment the burdens and challenges that the war poses for Ukrainians, first and foremost, and for all those who support Ukraine.

“But, strategically, I think, in many ways, Putin's war has thus far been a failure for Russia. The Russian military has performed poorly and suffered huge losses. The Russian economy has suffered long-term damage. Most of the progress that the Russian middle class has made over the last 30 years is being destroyed,” Burns stressed.

“I think Russia's reputation has been badly undermined and its weaknesses have been exposed. The Russian population seems increasingly uneasy about the costs of war as well,” he added.

As to Moscow’s nuclear threats, Burns said that the very idea of “saber-rattling is meant to intimidate.”

“We don't see any clear evidence today of plans to use tactical nuclear weapons,” he noted.

Read also: CIA to recruit spies among Russians standing against war - media

“We have made very clear, the president has made very clear to the Russians what the serious risks of that would be. I think it's also been very useful that Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi in India have also raised their concerns about use of nuclear weapons as well. I think that's also having an impact on the Russians,” said Burns.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, last month, William Burns visited Kyiv where he met with President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Ukrainian intelligence counterparts

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