US President Joe Biden sent to the US Senate the nomination of former US Ambassador to Russia William Burns for the position of director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on Wednesday, the White House press service reported.
"Nominations sent to the Senate: William Joseph Burns <…> to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency," the statement said.
Biden’s decision to nominate the career diplomat for this position was announced on January 11. Now the relevant Senate’s committee should schedule a hearing where the nominee will answer lawmakers’ questions with the subsequent vote on approving his nomination, TASS reports.
Burns was an ambassador to Russia in 2005-2008. In 2011-2014 he was deputy secretary of state and in recent years, served as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Speaking of US-Russian relations in December 2020, he noted "a relatively narrow band of possibilities" for interaction of Moscow and Washington. He pointed out the importance of extending the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) as part "of the U.S.-Russia arms control architecture." Additionally, he noted the growing influence of Russia in the Middle East.
In his memoir entitled The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal, 2019, the career diplomat expressed an opinion that the US should strive not to expand NATO but to unite its current members. He also named support for the EU as one of priorities after Brexit.