CIA Director nominee: it's mistake to underestimate Russia

CIA Director nominee: it's mistake to underestimate Russia

CIA Director nominee William Burns said it's a mistake to underestimate Russia.

Regarding Russia, Burns described the country as a "declining power," but said President Vladimir Putin has consistently proven he can be a disruptive force even when playing a relatively weak hand.

"Most of the white hair came from my service in Russia over the years, and in particular, dealing with Vladimir Putin's Russia," said Burns, the U.S. ambassador in Moscow from 2005-2008. "What I've learned is that it's always a mistake to underestimate Putin's Russia."

He warned that the U.S. must be "cold-eyed" about the threats posed by the former Cold War rival, NPR reported.

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