Tensions between Lukashenko, Wagner group rise Belarus leader tells Putin

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The Belarusian leader reportedly showed Putin a map of the alleged movement of Polish troops near the Belarusian cities of Brest and Grodno along the border.

Published: JULY 24, 2023 22:09

 SPUTNIK/ALEXANDER DEMYANCHUK/POOL VIA REUTERS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attend a meeting in Saint Petersburg, Russia July 23, 2023.

(photo credit: SPUTNIK/ALEXANDER DEMYANCHUK/POOL VIA REUTERS)

Tensions are rising between Belarus and the mercenary Wanger Group, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a meeting in St Petersburg, the TASS Russia news agency reported on Sunday.

The reasons behind the sudden tensions, Lukashenko said, is "because they want to march on Warsaw."

Lukashenko described Wagner asking to go west to "tour Poland".

"I keep them in the center, as agreed. Belarus does not want to move them there because their mood is bad," he continued.

"The Wagner group has started to stress us: ‘We want to go to the West. Let us go.’ I said, why do you want to go to the West?"

Alexander Lukashenko

The Belarusian leader reportedly showed Putin a map of the alleged movement of Polish troops near the Belarusian cities of Brest and Grodno along the border. Furthermore, since Poland is a member of NATO, in case of a military conflict, a US-led defense would also be brought into the conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting of the Security Council via a video link in Moscow, Russia, July 21, 2023. (credit: Sputnik/Alexander Kazakov/Kremlin via REUTERS)

"Wagner troops are stressing us because they want to go on 'an excursion' to Warsaw and Rzeszow in Poland," Lukashenko said in a meeting with Putin. Furthermore, he brought Putin a map of Polish troop movement along the border with Belarus. pic.twitter.com/uqlvAMWdeL

— NOELREPORTS (@NOELreports) July 23, 2023

The two leaders regarding Ukraine's counteroffensive

The two leaders also discussed Ukraine, where Putin said that Ukraine's counteroffensive "has failed," and Lukashenko had said "there is no counteroffensive."

Ukraine's counteroffensive began last month but only made small gains against Russian forces. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday, however, that Ukraine has successfully reclaimed 50% of its territory seized by Russia throughout the war.

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