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Washington, Nov 8 (UiTV/IANS) – US National Security Adviser (NSA) Jake Sullivan has confirmed that communication channels between Moscow and Washington remain open despite Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine.
Addressing an event in New York on Monday, the NSA said that although it was “in the interests” of the US to maintain contact with the Kremlin, but officials are “clear-eyed about who we are dealing with”, the BBC reported.
Sullivan added that President Joe Biden’s administration had “an obligation to pursue accountability” and pledged to work with international partners to “hold the perpetrators of grave and grotesque war crimes in Ukraine responsible for what they have done”.
“I was just in Kiev on Friday (November 4) and I had the opportunity to meet with President (Volodymyr) Zelensky and my counterpart Andriy Yermak, with the military leadership and also to get a briefing on just what level of death and devastation has been erupted by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s war on that country,” the BBC quoted the NSA as saying.
Monday’s development comes as the White House refuses to deny reports that Sullivan has been leading talks with Russia to prevent a nuclear escalation in Ukraine.
Confirming the NSA’s remarks, White House Press Secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said on Monday that “we reserve the right to speak directly at senior levels about issues of concern to the US”, adding that “our conversations have focused only on risk reduction in the US-Russia relationship”.
“We continue to adhere to our basic principle of ‘nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine’… But we have been careful to protect the timing and the content of the conversation so that we have the continuing ability to reach Russia and these lines of communication are not cut off.
“And that’s how we have moved forward over the last several months here,” Jean-Pierre told reporters at a briefing.