Conflicts & War

Russia will emerge stronger after Wagner mutiny: Lavrov

Moscow, Jun 30 (EFE).- Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday said the country would emerge stronger from last weekend’s failed mutiny led by the head of the Wagner Group paramilitary force, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Prigozhin called off the uprising after securing guarantees from president Vladimir Putin that he and his mercenaries would not face criminal charges. The Wagner chief has since gone into exile in Belarus after a deal brokered by that country’s president Alexandr Lukashenko.

“Russia has always emerged stronger from any problem, and it is hard to say this is more than a problem. This process has begun,” Lavrov told a press conference.

Lavrov said Moscow does not have to give guarantees to the West of its stability, ironically thanking a journalist for asking about whether Russia, a nuclear power, is a stable country after last weekend’s events.

“Thank you very much for worrying about our national interests, but it is not necessary,” he stressed.

Lavrov also warned that Russia was unlikely to extend a grain export deal known as the Black Sea initiative that was signed after the outbreak of the war last year to allow cargo ships carrying grain to leave Ukrainian ports.

The Russian foreign minister claimed that the vast majority of Ukrainian ships leaving Black Sea ports were for commercial purposes, insisting that only about 2.5% of 32.5 million tons of Ukrainian grain exports were heading to countries in need.

Russia agreed to extend the deal for two months in May, and has said it will refuse another extension unless Russian agricultural bank, Rosselkhoznadzor, is reconnected to the SWIFT international banking system and Russian assets abroad are unfrozen, among other demands. EFE

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