US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has confirmed communication channels between Washington and Moscow remain open despite the war in Ukraine.
Speaking in New York, Mr Sullivan said it was “in the interests” of the US to maintain contact with the Kremlin.
But he insisted officials were “clear-eyed about who we are dealing with”.
It comes as the White House refuses to deny reports that Mr Sullivan has been leading talks with Russia to prevent a nuclear escalation in Ukraine.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Mr Sullivan has held confidential discussions with his Russian counterpart, Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev, and senior Kremlin foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov, over the past several months.
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