NATO is ready to defend its borders against any threat from Russia or Belarus after the country welcomed Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner mercenary group. The statement was made by the Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
“It is too early to make any final judgement about the consequences of the афесе that Prigozhin has moved to Belarus. Most likely some of his forces will also be located to Belarus. We have sent a clear message to Moscow and to Minsk that NATO is there to protect every ally and every inch of NATO (member states) territory”, Stoltenberg said.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, who also attended the meeting in The Hague with the Secretary General and six other heads of state of the Alliance, warned that if the Wagner mercenary group sends its fighters to Belarus, all of its neighbor states “will face an even greater risk of instability”. Stoltenberg also said that NATO should not underestimate Russia regarding the situation around the Wagner. Despite the fact that the events are Russia’s internal matter, the Alliance should support Ukraine even more. After the summit in Vilnius on July 11-12, NATO will send Ukraine a “clear signal” of support. Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said the day before that there would be no field camps for Wagner fighters in Belarus.
“But if they want – I see they are looking at some separate areas – we will deploy them”. Put up tents, please, Lukashenko pointed out. At the same time, Lukashenko believes that members of the Wagner can share the experience with the Belarusian military. Yevgeni Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner, blamed the Russian military leadership for a strike on the camp of his soldiers in the evening on June 23. The Russian Ministry of Defense denied the allegations of the businessman and called his actions a provocation. On the morning of June 24, the Wagner forces blocked the headquarters of the Southern Military District in Rostov-on-Don and headed towards Moscow.