Russia's spy chief Sergey Naryshkin on Monday termed his meeting with his US counterpart in Turkey last November as "positive" and "substantial".
The Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) head's comments came after CIA Director William Burns in a CBS News interview described the high-level meeting between the two as "pretty dispiriting" and accused his Russian counterpart of displaying "a very defiant attitude" and "a sense of cockiness and hubris" during the negotiations.
"I still positively assess the nature and results of the meeting with my colleague William Burns," Naryshkin told media persons here, adding that the negotiations in Ankara were substantial and proceeded "in a very comfortable atmosphere", RT reported.
Expressing his "great respect" for his American counterpart, he termed Burns "a very experienced, skilful diplomat... who, perhaps, has not yet obtained a lot of experience" in his CIA role.
Also read | After Russia's struggle in Ukraine war, Xi Jinping doubts PLA's ability to accomplish Taiwan invasion: CIA chief
The SVR chief noted that the negotiations went on for 2.5 hours. "This alone shows that the meeting could hardly last as long as it did if one of the sides behaved cockily, rudely, arrogantly," he emphasised.
Naryshkin also speculated as to why Burns may have got such an impression. "Maybe, he understood that during this conversation, during these talks, I was leaning not only on my opinion... but on the opinion of the many millions of Russian people."
The meeting, in Ankara in mid-November, is believed to have been the first direct contact between top US and Russian officials since Moscow launched its military campaign in Ukraine in February 2022.
At the time, the US said Burns was "conveying a message on the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons by Russia, and the risks of escalation to strategic stability". Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the meeting was held at the request of US President Joe Biden.