© Reuters. Fighters from the private mercenary group Wagner are deployed near a local circus in the city of Rostov-on-Don, Russia June 24, 2023. REUTERS/Stringer
(Reuters) – Here are the reactions of foreign governments to news from Russia, where President Vladimir Putin vowed on Saturday to crush what he called an armed mutiny after rebel mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin said he had took control of a southern city, then rushed towards Moscow.
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKIY
“Whoever chooses the path of evil destroys himself.
“For a long time Russia used propaganda to hide its weakness and the stupidity of its government. And now there is so much chaos that no lie can hide it.
“Russia’s weakness is obvious. A weakness on a large scale. And the longer Russia keeps its troops and mercenaries in our land, the more chaos, pain and problems it will have later.”
UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE ANTONY BLINKEN
“The United States will remain in close coordination with Allies and partners as the situation continues to evolve,” Blinken wrote on Twitter.
Blinken said he spoke with G7 foreign ministers and the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs.
GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTRY
“Foreign Minister Baerbock has just discussed the situation with the G7 foreign ministers,” a ministry spokesman said, adding that the German government’s crisis team was also meeting.
OFFICE OF TURKISH PRESIDENT TAYYIP ERDOGAN
Erdogan’s office said the president spoke by phone on Saturday with Putin and “emphasized the importance of acting with common sense.”
“During the conversation, it was emphasized that no one should exploit the situation in Russia. President Erdoğan said that we as Turkey are ready to do our part to resolve what is happening peacefully and calmly as soon as possible.
BRITISH PRIME MINISTER RISHI SUNAK, IN AN EXCERPT FROM A BBC INTERVIEW
“Well, we have been monitoring for some time now the potentially destabilizing effects of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine. We are watching the situation closely as it evolves on the ground as we speak. We are in contact with our allies and, in fact, I will speak to some of them later today, but the most important thing I will say is that all parties are responsible and protect civilians.
UK DEFENSE OFFICE, IN A REGULAR INTELLIGENCE UPDATE
“Over the next few hours, the loyalty of the Russian security forces, and in particular the Russian National Guard, will be key to the unfolding of this crisis. This represents the most significant challenge for the Russian state in recent times.”
Britain said Wagner Group forces (from Prigozhin) crossed from Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine into Russia in at least two places and ‘almost certainly’ occupied key security sites in Rostov -on-Don.
“Other Wagner units are moving north through Voronezh Oblast, almost certainly aiming to get to Moscow,” Britain said.
“With very limited evidence of fighting between Wagner and Russian security forces, some probably remained passive, acquiescing to Wagner.”
NATO SPOKESPERSON OANA LUNGESCU
NATO is “monitoring the situation” in Russia, she said in an email.
THE LATVIAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, EDGARS RINKEVICS
“Latvia is closely monitoring the development of the situation in Russia and is exchanging information with its allies. Border security has been tightened, visas or border entry for Russians leaving Russia due to current events will not will not be taken into account. No direct threat to Latvia at the moment.”
LITHUANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS
“For 100 years, Lithuanians have lived on the edge of Moscow’s brutal banditocracy, knowing that it is only a matter of time before the next chaotic implosion. We are not distracted. We see clearly into the chaos. The goal, as always, is victory and justice for Ukraine. The time has come.
CZECH FOREIGN MINISTER JAN LIPAVSKY
“We are closely monitoring the situation in the Russian Federation. With regard to the ongoing military invasion of Ukraine and the possible threat of an erosion of the security situation in the country, in particular for the citizens of the countries of the EU and NATO, our strong warning against travel to the Russian Federation is still in place.”
ESTONIAN PRIME MINISTER KAJA KALLAS
“Estonia is closely following developments in Russia and sharing information with its allies. I can assure that there is no direct threat to our country. Border security has been tightened. J ‘also urges our people not to travel to any part of Russia.”
POLISH PRESIDENT ANDRZEJ DUDA ON TWITTER
“Regarding the situation in Russia, we had consultations this morning with the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Defense, as well as with allies. The course of events beyond our eastern border is constantly monitored. .”
OFFICE OF THE KAZAKH PRESIDENT:
Said in a statement that President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev spoke by phone with Putin who briefed him on the situation in the country. He said he noted that the current events “are an internal affair of Russia. Constitutional order and the rule of law are a sine qua non for maintaining public order in the country.” .
He added that Putin “expressed his gratitude for Kazakhstan’s understanding of the current situation in the Russian Federation.”
BELARUS SECURITY COUNCIL:
Said in a statement that Minsk remained an ally of Russia and that the internal conflicts were “a gift to the collective West”.
FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CABINET
The Elysee Palace said President Emmanuel Macron was closely monitoring the situation in Russia.
“We remain focused on supporting Ukraine,” said the Elysée.
CABINET OF ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER GIORGIA MELONI
“Prime Minister Meloni is closely following events in Russia, which show that his assault on Ukraine is the root of instability in Russia.”