Kremlin-backed Wagner Group has been operating in Ukraine, Syria, Libya, and several African countries
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that Sudan’s legitimate authorities have the right to use the services of the Wagner group, a Moscow-backed private military company.
The fighting between the Sudanese army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces has entered its second week with more than 400 people killed and over 4,000 others injured since April 15.
“The Central African Republic and Mali as well as Sudan and a number of other countries whose governments, legitimate authorities turn to such services, they have the right to do so, let’s not forget,” Lavrov told a press conference at the UN headquarters.
Wagner Group has been operating in Ukraine, Syria, Libya and some African countries including Mali and the Central African Republic.
On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken voiced “deep concern” over the military company’s activities in the war-torn country.
“It’s in so many different countries, and in Africa, an element that, when it’s engaged, simply brings more death and destruction with it,” Blinken said during a joint press conference with Kenyan counterpart Alfred Mutua.
Asked about the extension of the Black Sea grain deal, which will expire on May 18, Lavrov pointed out the obstacles to the shipment of Russian grain and fertilizer, saying that it was brought to a “dead-end” by Western countries.
“There’s a need to simply bring our bank back into the fold of the SWIFT system,” Lavrov said.
Several Russian banks including the Russian Agricultural Bank were removed from Swift, an international payment system used by thousands of financial institutions, after its aggression against its neighbor Ukraine.
Russia wants obstacles to the exports of its fertilizer to be removed in order to agree to another extension of the grain deal which was signed in Istanbul last July between Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine.
When asked by Anadolu if President Vladimir Putin plans to visit Türkiye for the inauguration of the country’s first nuclear power reactor built by a Russian nuclear energy company on April 27, Lavrov said that “this will be announced as soon as possible. I believe that the presidents have an understanding about the importance of such a meeting.”
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