Washington, December 19
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping raising concerns about the use of nuclear weapons had an impact on Russia, which has indulged in "nuclear sabre-rattling" over its war with Ukraine, CIA chief William Burns has said.
"I think, very dangerous nuclear sabre-rattling that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and others around him have done," Burns said.
He said the sabre-rattling was meant to intimidate.
"We don't see any clear evidence today of plans to use tactical nuclear weapons," he said.
The US has made very clear to the Russians what the serious risks of that (nuclear threat) would be, Burns, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency told the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), an American public broadcaster.
"I think it's also been very useful that Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi in India have also raised their concerns about the use of nuclear weapons as well. I think that's also having an impact on the Russians," he said.
The US has repeatedly highlighted remarks made by Prime Minister Modi during his bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the margins of the SCO summit in September.
It also acknowledged the essential role played by India in negotiating the G20's Bali Declaration that included Prime Minister Modi's message on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Chinese President Xi has also warned against the use of nuclear weapons over Ukraine.
When asked about the comments by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Mark Milley, that winter may be a time for negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, Burns said, "Most conflicts end in negotiations, but that requires seriousness on the part of the Russians in this instance that I don't think we see."
When asked about the concern about cooperation between the Russians and the Chinese, he said, "I think Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin have formed a pretty close partnership over recent years.
"So, it turns out that there actually are some limits to that partnership, at least in terms of President Xi's reluctance to supply the kind of military assistance to Putin that he's asked for in the course of the war in Ukraine," Burns said.
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