Russia will emerge stronger after mutiny so no need to fret, Lavrov says

  • Lavrov: no need for concern about Russia’s stability
  • Lavrov: most of world doesn’t want West’s rules
  • Kyiv playing ‘dangerous game’ over nuclear risk
  • Lavrov: West wants to freeze Ukraine conflict

MOSCOW, June 30 (Reuters) – Russia will emerge stronger after a failed mutiny by Wagner Group mercenaries so the West need not worry about stability in the world’s biggest nuclear power, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

President Vladimir Putin this week thanked the army and security forces for averting what he said could have been a civil war, and has compared the mutiny led by Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin to the chaos that plunged Russia into revolution in 1917.

Asked by Reuters if Russia was stable and if he could give assurances to the world that Russia was not slipping into turmoil, Lavrov said Moscow was not obliged to explain anything or give any assurances to anyone.

“If anyone in the West has any doubts, then that’s your problem,” Lavrov said at a news conference in Moscow. “Thank you for your concerns about our national interests, but there is no need.”

“Russia has always emerged more resilient and stronger after any difficulties – and it is hard to call it anything more than difficulties,” he added. “Moreover, we already feel that the process has started.”

The foreign minister also said Moscow had doubts about the adequacy of many Western leaders.

Since a deal was struck on Saturday to end the mutiny, the Kremlin has sought to project calm, with the 70-year-old Putin discussing tourism development, meeting crowds in Dagestan, and discussing ideas for economic development.

Many questions remain though. Wagner’s Prigozhin has not been seen in public since Saturday evening. Two senior Russian generals involved in the war in Ukraine have not been seen for days either.


Asked about the prospects for peace in Ukraine, Lavrov said he felt the West wanted to temporarily freeze the conflict to allow it to build up Ukraine’s military.

“It is a schizophrenic situation: they say everything will end with talks but first Russia must be defeated,” he said.

Lavrov, who is 73 and has served as Putin’s foreign minister since 2004, dismissed Ukrainian statements that Russia was planning some sort of “provocation” involving the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which Russian-forces control, as “pure lies.”

“They say that we will blow ourselves up at a nuclear facility – well, is it necessary to comment on it: it’s just pure lies,” Lavrov said, adding that Ukraine had confected other such “tragedies” and was “playing with fire”.

Lavrov said he had repeatedly reminded United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres about establishing the facts about what happened at Bucha, where Ukraine says Russia committed large-scale atrocities last year.

Russian forces, he said, had left Bucha three days before the bodies were found on Bucha’s main street. Russia wants the names of those found dead, he said.

Lavrov casts the war in Ukraine as a watershed moment which marks the decline of the West’s post-Soviet dominance over world affairs just as China rises.

“A majority of the world does not want to live according to Western rules,” Lavrov said.

He added that the West should stop trying to pressure African and Latin American countries over cutting ties with Russia due to the war in Ukraine.

Lavrov called for reform of the U.N. Security Council where he said the West was over-represented to give more representation to Asian, African and Latin American countries.

Reporting by Reuters
Editing by Andrew Osborn and Angus MacSwan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Guy Faulconbridge

Thomson Reuters

As Moscow bureau chief, Guy runs coverage of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Before Moscow, Guy ran Brexit coverage as London bureau chief (2012-2022). On the night of Brexit, his team delivered one of Reuters historic wins – reporting news of Brexit first to the world and the financial markets. Guy graduated from the London School of Economics and started his career as an intern at Bloomberg. He has spent over 14 years covering the former Soviet Union. He speaks fluent Russian.
Contact: +447825218698

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