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25 Jun, 2023 07:28

Lavrov discusses Wagner revolt with Iranian counterpart

The mutinous private military company agreed to return to its field camps after a deal was brokered on Saturday
Lavrov discusses Wagner revolt with Iranian counterpart

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has spoken by phone with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who voiced support for Moscow following an armed rebellion by the Wagner private military company (PMC), the Russian Foreign Ministry has said.

The conversation took place late on Saturday, on the initiative of Tehran, after the crisis had already been resolved, the ministry said.

“The Iranian side expressed support for the actions of the Russian leadership to ensure constitutional order,” the statement read.

The top diplomats also discussed bilateral ties between Russia and Iran, stressing their “high dynamism” and expressing their eagerness to further boost cooperation, the ministry added.

Earlier on Saturday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani described the insurrection by Wagner as an “internal issue” of the Russian state. “Iran supports the rule of law in the Russian Federation,” he stressed.

Wagner, which has been fighting alongside the regular Russian army in Ukraine, launched a major mutiny late on Friday. Its troops seized control of the Russian military’s Southern District headquarters in the city of Rostov-on-Don and sent a convoy towards Moscow.

The revolt came to a halt on Saturday night as the PMC’s leader, Evgeny Prigozhin, announced that his men would be returning to their field camps, following talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. The negotiations took place in coordination with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Minsk.

Prigozhin, who said he ordered the insurrection because “they [the Defense Ministry] wanted to disband Wagner PMC,” will leave Russia and “go to Belarus” as a result of the deal, Kremlin spokeperson Dmitry Peskov said. The criminal case against Prigozhin will be dropped, with Wagner fighters, who took part in the insurrection, also avoiding prosecution, he added.