White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is reported to be involved in secret talks with top aides to Russian President Vladimir Putin in an effort to prevent the war in Ukraine from escalating into a nuclear war.
The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that Mr. Sullivan has held talks in recent months with Yuri Ushakov, a senior foreign policy adviser to Mr. Putin, and with Nikolai Patrushev, the head of Russia’s security council.
U.S. officials told the paper that Mr. Sullivan is involved in “confidential conversations” with the two and that the discussions have not involved any potential settlements of the Ukraine war. The discussions are focused solely on preventing the current conflict from escalating, The Journal reported.
The Kremlin has faced a number of setbacks on the battlefield since invading Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. Mr. Putin has threatened the use of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction as Russian troops have come up against Ukrainian forces armed with often overwhelming firepower supplied by the U.S. and other NATO countries.