MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. Candidate for the position of director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) William Burns nominated by US President Joe Biden has always understood the importance of a dialogue between Moscow and Washington and is well aware of Russian specifics, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Thursday.
"He has always been a very ‘balanced’ American who protected his country’s interests yet at the same time understood the importance of a dialogue between Moscow and Washington," the Kremlin representative said. At the same time he noted that Burns has never been "a dumb hawk" and reiterated that during his tenure as an ambassador to Russia he proved to be a skilled diplomat.
Commenting on a remark by Burns that most of his gray hair came from his years of service in Russia, the Kremlin spokesman noted: "gerontology is not my strong suit." "So I will refrain from any comments regarding gray hair," he said.
Burns, 64, is a retired career diplomat. He dedicated 33 years to diplomatic service. In 2001-2005, he was assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs. In 2005-2008, he was an ambassador to Russia. In 2011-2014, he was deputy secretary of state and in recent years has served as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He speaks Russian, Arabic and French. If the US Senate approves his nomination, he will become the first former career diplomat to lead the CIA.