Kremlin Has ‘Nothing to Say’ About Reported Talks With Jake Sullivan

The White House wouldn't comment on specifics but said the US had conversations with senior Russian officials in recent months

The Kremlin on Monday said it had “nothing to say” about a report from The Wall Street Journal that said US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan held secret talks with senior Russian officials in recent months.

The report said that Sullivan held talks with his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, and Yuri Ushakov, a foreign policy advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin. It said that Sullivan warned the Russians against using nuclear weapons and that the talks were focused on avoiding an escalation that could turn the war in Ukraine into a wider conflict.

But the details aren’t confirmed as the Kremlin declined to comment on the report. “We have nothing to say about this publication,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. The White House declined to comment on the specifics of the report but did say the US has had high-level talks with Russia in recent months.

“We reserve the right to speak directly at senior levels about issues of concern to the United States. That has happened over the course of the past few months,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “Our conversations have focused only on — focused only on risk reduction in the US-Russia relationship.”

Jean-Pierre made clear that the conversations did not explore the idea of a potential ceasefire in Ukraine. “We continue to adhere to our basic principle of ‘nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine,'” she said.

The White House has previously said it wouldn’t push Ukraine to negotiate. The Washington Post reported over the weekend that Washington was hoping Kyiv would change its public stance on negotiations, but for public relations purposes, not to actually pursue diplomacy.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree last month ruling out peace talks with Russia as long as Putin is president. Despite the reported US request to change the policy, an advisor to Zelensky reaffirmed on Monday that Ukraine will wait until Putin isn’t president to hold talks with Russia.

Peskov also declined to comment on The Washington Post report when asked by reporters. “Once again, I repeat that there are some truthful reports, but for the most part, there are reports that are pure speculation,” he said.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.