Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov says that John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), made a secret visit to Moscow in March, according to The Moscow Times.
The visit, he said, had nothing to do with Russia`s decision two weeks ago to begin withdrawing from Syria, The Moscow Times wrote.
”It`s no secret that Brennan was here,” Syromolotov said on Monday. ”But he didn`t visit the Foreign Ministry. I know for sure that he met with the Federal Security Service [the successor agency to the Soviet KGB], and someone else.”
It wasn`t clear why Brennan visited Moscow, but the trip appears to have coincided with President Vladimir Putin`s surprise March 14 announcement that Russia`s combat operation in Syria was ending, and Moscow would soon withdraw a portion of its forces from the country after conducting 167 air strikes.
The decision to withdraw was followed by a visit of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Moscow last week. While in Russia, Kerry met personally with Putin and his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov.