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A top US official has held private talks with aides of Russian President Vladimir Putin with the goal of reducing the risk of a potential nuclear conflict beginning due to the war in Ukraine.

According to reports, US national security advisor Jake Sullivan has been holding confidential talks with Putin aide Yuri Ushakov and Russian security council secretary Nikolai Patrushev. The top officials have reportedly held at least seven calls in recent months. Currently, the United States and Russia have not confirmed the reports.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan

Putin aid Yuri Ushakov

The Kremlin’s response:
During a press conference today, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment but said, “once again, I repeat that there are some truthful reports, but for the most part, there are reports that are pure speculation.”

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev

This development comes as top US officials have publicly stressed the need to hold open lines of communication with Russia to prevent any “miscalculations.” Last month, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said communication was necessary due to Russia’s increased nuclear rhetoric. Austin continued by saying that any use of a nuclear weapon in Ukraine would have “catastrophic consequences for Russia.”

Jon

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