Lithuania is prepared to deal with the situation stemming from Wagner’s redeployment to Belarus, Lithuania’s neighbour, Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said following the arrival of fighters from the Russian mercenary group in Belarus last week, LRT.lt, the website of Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT, reported on July 25.
Wagner staged a mutiny in Russia last month, after which an agreement was reportedly brokered by Minsk for the group to relocate to Belarus, which borders Nato members Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, as well as Ukraine.
“The preparedness of both our institutions and our army is adequate for the situation we see now, and there have been and will be all kinds of statements all the time, the most irresponsible ones, about the use of nuclear weapons, about the Suwalki Corridor [connecting Belarus to Russia’s Kaliningrad], about something else,” she said in an interview with LRT TV on late July 24.
“It’s just that it has to be seen against the background, and apparently that’s what we see,” she added.
The independent monitoring group Belaruski Hajun, which tracks the movements of armed forces in Belarus, said last week that at least nine organised convoys had already arrived in Belarus bringing in more than 2,000 Wagner mercenaries.
However, the mercenary group has announced on social media that more fighters are planning to come to Belarus.
Meanwhile, Belarusian authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko said on Sunday he was “keeping” Russian Wagner mercenaries in central Belarus but claimed that they “are asking to go West, ask me for permission to go on a trip to Warsaw, to Rzeszow”.
Also on July 24, Defence Minister Arvydas Anusauskas dismissed such statements as disinformation. He also pointed out that Lithuania was prepared for possible provocations.
“So, let’s stop dancing to the tune of Pu and Lu’s disinformation messages,” the minister said on Facebook referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Lukashenko, LRT.lt said.