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After Belarus hosted Yevgeny Prigozhin, commander of the Wagner military group, who put an end to his latest insurgency last Saturday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that the bloc was ready to defend itself against any threat from Moscow or Minsk.
According to him, after a banquet with leaders of 7 countries in The Hague on Tuesday, Stoltenberg announced that NATO had sent a clear signal to Moscow and Minsk that NATO exists to protect every ally and every inch of its territory.
He also said that NATO would decide to beef up its defenses at a summit next week in Lithuania to protect all its members, especially those bordering Belarus, a Russian ally, explaining that it was too early to make a final assessment. situations. the consequences of the transfer of Prigogine with part of his forces.
And he believed that there could be no room for misunderstanding in Moscow or Minsk about our ability to protect the allies from any possible threat, having warned Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausida about the danger of stationing Wagner fighters in Belarus.
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And he figured that if Wagner deployed his fighter jets in Belarus, all neighboring countries would face a great risk of instability, he said, stressing that the West should not underestimate Russia despite the chaos that prevailed at the end of the week.
He stressed the importance of continuing to support Ukraine in the face of a Russian invasion, noting that the members of the alliance will take a course towards granting Kyiv membership in the bloc.
Options for Wagner
This comes after the alliance stressed last Monday its readiness to respond quickly should the private military company Wagner move to Belarus.
Prigozhin arrived in Belarus on Tuesday after leading an uprising over the weekend that posed the greatest threat to the rule of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Former Kremlin ally Wagner has created a powerful private army and recruited thousands of prisoners for the war in Ukraine.
And the day before, Moscow announced that all prosecutions against the group had been dropped, even though Putin promised last Saturday, hours after the military mutiny launched by his former ally Prigozhin, to inflict the harshest punishments on those he called “traitors.”
However, he later returned and softened his rhetoric, leaving the fighters of that group that actively participated in the hostilities on former Ukrainian soil the door open to either sign a contract with the Russian Ministry of Defense, or work under the command of the army, or leave for Belarus, or return to their homes and families.