MOSCOW (AP) — A top Russian security official met the visiting chief of the Central Intelligence Agency on Tuesday, a rare encounter amid tensions between Moscow and Washington.
Nikolai Patrushev, the powerful secretary of the Kremlin’s Security Council, met CIA Director William Burns in Moscow to discuss U.S.-Russian relations, Patrushev’s office said in a statement without providing any details.
Ties between the two countries have badly frayed over Russia’s interference with U.S. elections and 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, its support for a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine, hacking attacks and other irritants.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a June summit in Geneva in an attempt to make relations between their nations more stable and predictable.
They agreed to launch consultations on arms control and cybersecurity while noting areas of continued disagreement.
Speaking last month, Putin described relations with Washington as “quite constructive” and said he personally has developed “working, stable relations” with Biden. The Russian leader voiced hope that mutual interests would eventually help normalize U.S.-Russia ties.
Patrushev, a longtime close associate of Putin’s, is considered one of Russia’s most influential officials.