Russia shrugs off French concerns on possible mercenary deal with Mali,

Russia on Thursday dismissed French concerns about a potential deal between Mali and a Russian private military contractor and said it planned to continue supplying Mali with weapons, military hardware and ammunition.

Diplomatic and security sources have told Reuters that Mali’s military junta is close to recruiting mercenaries from the Russia Wagner Group- a worry for France, which has thousands of troops fighting Islamist militants in West Africa. […]

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov set out an uncompromising line ahead of talks in Paris on Friday at which France has said it will raise the issue.

”Regarding the nervousness that the French and some other Western officials are showing about the reports of the Mali government’s plans to seek the services of a private military company from the Russian Federation … this is the exclusive competence of the legitimate government of Mali,” he said. Läs artikel