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Tags: burns | europe | pipeline | ukraine

CIA Chief Burns Was Secretly Sent to Europe Ahead of Blinken Trip to Region: Report

Bill Burns wearing a face mask
CIA Director Bill Burns arrives for his Senate Select Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, on Feb. 24. (Tom Williams/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 20 January 2022 09:08 AM EST

CIA Director Bill Burns made a quiet trip to Berlin and Kyiv in an effort to rally support among European nations for a tougher response against Russia in the event it invades Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal reported.

His visit to the German and Ukrainian capitals came a week before the official trip to the region by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Burns told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that Berlin should shelve the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline to Russia if Ukraine is invaded, according to WSJ.

Burns was sent to Germany after Scholz had held back from announcing that Germany would freeze Nord Stream 2 in case of a Russian invasion.

WSJ noted that the U.S. sees shutting down the pipeline as a major aspect of a trans-Atlantic response to a Russian invasion.

AFP reported the pipeline has been completed but not commissioned. It is seen as a key part of Europe's energy supply network and as a crown jewel in Russia's export capabilities.

"Our view continues to be that stopping the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a credible piece we hold over Russia," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

After President Joe Biden suggested there could be a lower cost for a ''minor incursion'' by Russia in Ukraine — as opposed to a full-scale invasion — the White House press office issued a statement to clarify his remarks Wednesday night.

Psaki's statement stressed a response to any Russian aggression on Ukraine would be ''decisive, reciprocal, and united.''

''President Biden has been clear with the Russian President: If any Russian military forces move across the Ukrainian border, that's a renewed invasion, and it will be met with a swift, severe, and united response from the United States and our allies,'' the statement said.

Biden predicted Wednesday that Russia will make a move on Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Blinken on Wednesday urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to choose the "peaceful path" on Ukraine, as he visited Kyiv in a show of support, according to AFP.

Related Stories:

  • Biden Says Putin Will Pay 'Dear Price' If He Invades Ukraine
  • Russia Moves More Troops Westward Amid Ukraine Tensions

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CIA Director Bill Burns made a quiet trip to Berlin and Kyiv in an effort to rally support among European nations for a tougher response against Russia in the event it invades Ukraine.
burns, europe, pipeline, ukraine
335
2022-08-20
Thursday, 20 January 2022 09:08 AM
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