Raisi voices support for Russian leadership over Wagner mutiny
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi voices his support for Russian President Vladimir Putin after Wagner PMC's mutiny in the country.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday held a phone call with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, with the latter expressing support for the actions taken by the Russian leadership in connection with the events that took place on Saturday, the Kremlin said.
"President of Russia Vladimir Putin had a phone conversation with President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi. The president of Iran expressed full support for the Russian leadership in connection with the events of June 24," the Kremlin said in a statement.
The two leaders also addressed other issues on their international agenda, which happened to include "ensuring stability in the South Caucasus and the Syrian settlement."
"Prospects for the further development of mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation were discussed with an emphasis on the practical implementation of existing agreements in the field of trade, energy, and transport... It was agreed to continue personal contacts," the statement read.
This comes after infighting within Russia, with Wagner PMC chief Yevgeny Prigozhin announcing on his Telegram channel that storming of the region of Rostov and taking over the military headquarters in response to what he claims was a Russian state attack on his troops earlier under the orders of the Defense Ministry.
Putin delivered a televised address to the nation in which he described the actions of the Wagner Group as an armed mutiny and treason and promised harsh measures against the insurgents.
Raisi's words followed similar statements from Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who expressed solidarity and support for the people of Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega also said Russia was currently faced with "times of great challenges to the Glory of Russia's Character, Identity, Wisdom and Strengths," and expressed support for Russia from the Nicaraguan people.
In turn, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro also voiced support and solidarity with Russia's people and government.
"From the victorious Campo de Carabobo, we send our embrace of solidarity and support to the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, who has been able to face an attempted betrayal and civil war, guaranteeing victory and Peace for his People. Venezuela is with you in brotherhood and true friendship!" Maduro said.
The situation involving the Wagner Group PMC and its head Yevgeny Prigozhin in Russia will not affect the progress of Moscow's military operation in Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday.
The Washington Post reported Sunday that US intelligence agencies learned that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner Group private military company (PMC), might be planning a mutiny and alerted the White House and other government agencies so they wouldn't be caught off guard.
Although the specifics of Prigozhin's plans remained unclear, one source claimed that "there were enough signals to be able to tell the leadership... that something was up."
According to unidentified sources quoted in the newspaper, the White House, top officials at the Department of State, the Pentagon, and members of Congress were informed by the intelligence agencies over the last two weeks.
Meanwhile, The New York Times said the US spy services were reluctant to declassify the material because of fear that Russia would accuse them of planning a coup. According to the investigation, they also showed "little interest" in assisting Russian authorities.
On Saturday night, the Kremlin confirmed that Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin would move to Belarus as part of the deal brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who offered to mediate, to put an end to the armed mutiny that Prigozhin led against Russia's military leadership. Furthermore, the criminal investigation against Prigozhin will be dropped, even though the Kremlin has announced that it does not know Prigozhin's whereabouts at the moment.