MOSCOW, May 2. /TASS/. Members of Russia’s Wagner private military company aren’t active in Ukraine but the Kiev regime is talking about them to divert attention from Western mercenaries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Italy’s Mediaset broadcaster.
"Nothing like that is happening in Ukraine, while there is a huge number of mercenaries from Western countries," he said in response to a question. "I think allegations about Wagner’s presence in Ukraine stem from [Kiev’s] wish to divert attention from what our Western colleagues are doing," Lavrov added.
At the same time, he emphasized that the Wagner private military company "has nothing to do with the Russian government." "We explained it to our French colleagues who had become concerned about Wagner’s agreement with Mali’s government on the provision of security services," he noted.
The Russian top diplomat added that Moscow had to provide similar explanations to the West in relation to the situation in Libya after "the authorities in the city of Tobruk, where the Libyan parliament is based, invited the Wagner private military company." "Italy is well aware of the situation in Libya. They [Wagner members] are present there on a commercial basis, just like in Mali," Lavrov concluded.