Very helpful that Modi and Xi opposed nuclear weapons: CIA chief

Bill Burns, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, has said that it has been “very valuable” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China’s president Xi Jinping have made it clear that they are against nuclear weapons.

In an effort to stop Russia from using nuclear weapons, he said this two days after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had asked India and China to talk to Russia about how they felt about nuclear weapons.

When asked about his meeting with Sergei Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, in Turkey last year, Burns told CBS News on Sunday that it was “dispiriting.”

“I didn’t mean to talk about negotiations. The Ukrainians will have to talk to the Russians about this when they think it’s time. “What the President (Joe Biden) asked me to do more than anything else was to make it clear to Naryshkin and, through him, to President (Vladimir) Putin, how bad it would be if Russia ever used a nuclear weapon of any kind.

Burns said that both Naryshkin and Putin knew how important this issue was. “I also think it’s very helpful that both the Chinese government and India’s Prime Minister Modi have made it clear that they don’t want to use nuclear weapons.”

Burns, who was also the American ambassador to Russia, said that he got the impression from the conversation that Putin still had a “sense of cockiness and hubris.”

“You know, I think it reflects Putin’s own view, his own belief that he can make time work for him, that he can wear down the Ukrainians and our European allies, and that political fatigue will eventually set in.”

Burns, who has worked with the Russian president a lot, said that from what he had seen, Putin thought that Americans had “attention deficit disorder.” “And we’ll move on to something else at some point. So, I think Putin feels, in many ways, that he can’t win for a while but can’t afford to lose. I mean, that’s what he thinks. So, instead of trying to back down or find a famous way out, Putin has doubled down. Burns said that Putin was still “too sure of his ability” to weaken Ukraine.

Burns also said that China was thinking about whether or not to give Russia weapons, but hadn’t decided yet.

“We’re sure that the Chinese government is thinking about giving lethal equipment. We also don’t see any signs that a final decision has been made or that any lethal equipment has been sent. I think Secretary Blinken and the President both thought it was important to make it clear what would happen if that happened. Blinken told China last week at the Munich Security Conference that it shouldn’t help Russia with its military.

Burns said that he thought Xi had been paying close attention to how the war in Ukraine was going. He said, “I think in many ways, what he’s seen has upset and sobered him. I think he was shocked by how badly the Russians did in the military. I’m also surprised by how much the West stands with and helps Ukraine. In other words, it means that not only the United States but also our European allies are willing to take on some economic costs in order to hurt Russia’s economy more in the long run. I think that all of this has made Xi Jinping a little more serious.”

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Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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