NATO ‘able to react quickly’ to relocation of Wagner PMC to Belarus — Secretary General

NATO is ready to react to potential relocation of the Wagner PMC to Belarus, but there are currently no indications of that, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a press conference in Vilnius Monday.

"I think it’s a bit early to say exactly, because things might still evolve. We are, of course, monitoring very closely, and we are able to react quickly, if there is a need. At the same time, I think it is important to remind you all that this [the Wagner PMC mutiny - TASS] is about internal Russian matters and therefore what NATO is focused on is to support Ukraine," Stoltenberg said. "It is not for NATO to intervene in those issues, that’s a Russian matter. What matters for NATO is not to be intimidated."

Late on June 23, Wagner PMC Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed on his Telegram channel that PMC forces were hit with airstrikes, accusing Russia’s military command. The Russian Defense Ministry called these reports false. PMC units that supported Prigozhin headed to Rostov-on-Don and towards Moscow. The Federal Security Service (FSB) initiated a criminal case over charges of mutiny.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the PMC’s actions a betrayal. Later, under agreement with Putin, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko held negotiations with Prigozhin, after which the PMC turned back and headed towards its field camps. The Kremlin later clarified that the criminal case against Prigozhin will be closed, and the PMC founder will "go to Belarus." Furthermore, according to Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the authorities will not prosecute PMC fighters that took part in the mutiny, "considering their frontline merit.".

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