Sergei Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service (SVR), said he had a phone conversation with his CIA counterpart, Bill Burns, in late June to discuss “what to do with Ukraine” and the brief insurgency. held by Eugene Prigogine, the leader of Wagner’s mercenaries.
According to the Russian state agency Tass, Naryshkin says that the failed uprising of the Wagner group, which he calls the “events of June 24”, became the “pretext” for Burns’ call. That day, mercenaries seized control of a military headquarters in the southern Russian city and advanced on Moscow, before turning back after reaching a deal with the Kremlin that ended the insurgency.
The media likes it New York Times and The Wall Street Journal On June 30, Burns reported a call to Naryshkin to assure the Kremlin that The United States had nothing to do with the Wagner Rebellion.
As Tass reports, citing the head of the SVR, “a large part of the conversation was focused on the issue of Ukraine.” “We are thinking and discussing what to do with Ukraine,” says Naryshkin, who adds that he does not rule out a face-to-face meeting with Burns in the future.
As for the negotiated settlement of the conflict in Ukraine, the head of the Russian intelligence service said that the conditions for it “have not yet matured”, although, according to him, it might happen “sooner or later”. “The fact that negotiations are possible sooner or later is natural, because any conflict, including an armed conflict, ends with negotiations, but the conditions for them must still be ripe. However, the Russian agency did not specify whether this issue was touched upon in the conversation with Burns.
According to the spy chief, the conversation lasted “about an hour”. As reported by media such as the washington post Burns visited Ukraine last month. According to Naryshkin, this issue was not raised during the call.
The CIA declined to comment on Naryshkin’s statements.
Ukraine insists that no country should negotiate its future on its behalf, a principle the US has supported since the Russian invasion, which began in February 2022, with the formula “nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine”.
Relations between the US and Russia are at their lowest level since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, Reuters reported. With contacts between Moscow and Washington reduced to a minimum, Burns and Naryshkin kept the lines of communication open after the outbreak of war in Ukraine.
Last November, the two spy chiefs had a rare face-to-face meeting in Ankara. Following the recapture of Kherson, Ukraine, later that month, leaks from the Kremlin prompted the US government to respond by reiterating that Burns was “not negotiating any kind” and “not negotiating a deal for the Ukraine war”.
Kyiv: “Naryshkin has no influence”
But Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to Ukraine’s president, told Reuters after being asked about the information that “some Naryshkin today has no influence on how this war ends.”
Podoliak says that Russia is losing the war and cannot negotiate with mediators like Naryshkin. This Russian elite perceives what is happening completely inadequately, so there is nothing to talk about with them.
Ukraine launched a long-awaited counteroffensive in June and is now refusing to negotiate, arguing it could freeze the situation on the battlefield, where Russia has seized more than a sixth of Ukraine’s territory.
Moscow says Wagner has moved more than 2,000 teams
At the same time, Russian military spokesman Igor Konashenkov confirmed that the Wagner group had handed over more than 2,000 military equipment and weapons, including barracks and missile launchers, to the Russian Defense Ministry after the failed armed coup.
“The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, in accordance with the plan, are completing the reception of weapons and military equipment from units of the Wagner group,” said the statement of the lieutenant general.
He explains that the defense received more than 2,000 pieces of equipment and weapons, including hundreds of heavy weapons such as T-90, T-80, T-72B3 tanks, Grad and Uragán multiple rocket systems, Pantsir anti-aircraft guns and rockets. Systems, self-propelled artillery 2S1 Gvozdika, Acacia, Hiacinth, Tulip, howitzers and anti-tank missiles.
As well as mortar systems, multipurpose armored vehicles, armored vehicles, as well as other vehicles and about 20,000 small arms, Konashenkov notes.
Similarly, the mercenaries have supplied more than 2,500 tonnes of various ammunition to the regular armed forces, he added.
A defense spokesman also points out that among the equipment transferred, dozens of units have never been used on the battlefield.
The process of handing over weapons in the hands of the Wagnerites in Ukraine began on June 27, three days after mercenaries led by Prigozhin rose to prevent it from disappearing as a private military company.
Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the mercenaries three options: return home, go to Belarus or sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense or other security agencies of the country to report to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov. .
This meant in practice, at least in Ukraine, the dismantling of the Wagner group as it was known since its creation.
As part of the agreement, the Kremlin promised the mercenaries and their commander that they would not be punished.
Before It is not known how many mercenaries he signed agreement with the defense, and the latest news from Prigozhin and the mercenaries, according to the commander of the group, is that they are on leave until the beginning of August before moving to Belarus.
A top US general said Russia’s leadership was experiencing “significant friction and confusion” after last month’s mutiny by Wagner’s mercenary group, but its impact on the Ukrainian front was still unclear.
Source: El Diario