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Biden requested Russian-US spy chiefs’ meeting, Lavrov divulges

It is reported that Russia would respond seriously to any serious proposal forwarded by the United States

MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. Last year’s negotiations between Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergey Naryshkin and US Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns were organized upon a proposal from US President Joe Biden addressed to President Vladimir Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

"Biden asked Putin about organizing a meeting between Naryshkin and Burns and this meeting took place," Lavrov said, speaking at his annual press conference on the results of Russian diplomacy in 2022.

"Indeed, it was a serious and useful meeting although it did not produce any breakthrough results," the top Russian diplomat noted.

Lavrov said that Russia would respond seriously to any serious proposal forwarded by the United States.

"The focus should be on a dialogue, a serious dialogue and not only an ordinary meeting for the sake of blaming someone for all the deadly sins. It must be a serious and mutually-respectful talk as this is always useful. This is why the ball is not in our court," he added.

The Russian and American intel bosses met in mid-November last year at the headquarters of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) in Ankara. The Turkish presidency’s Director of Communications, Fahrettin Altun, said after the talks that the top intelligence officials had discussed threats to international security, including those related to the possible use of nuclear weapons.

US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby told Bloomberg prior to the meeting that the Naryshkin-Burns meeting was held in order to maintain communication on the topic of security between the two countries.