Borrell: Wagner uprising shows war is 'undermining Russia's power'

Last weekend’s Wagner Group mutiny proves that the war in Ukraine is “undermining” Russia’s power, according to Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative of defence and foreign policy. He made the comments on Monday morning, ahead of discussions between EU foreign ministers.

“The Wagner monster” created by Vladimir Putin “is eating its creator”, said Borrell, who is chairing the meeting in Luxembourg. “What happened in Russia this weekend shows that the war against Ukraine is undermining Russia’s power and attacking its political system.”

“Russia is one of the two biggest nuclear powers on the planet. We cannot remain indifferent to what happens there,” Austrian minister Alexander Schallenberg added. Sweden’s Tobias Billstrom said Europe must closely monitor the situation in Russia, “because what happens there will evidently also have an impact on security conditions” in Europe.

Billstrom said it was more important than ever that Ukraine could count on Europe’s support in its fight against Russia.

"Russia is one of the two biggest nuclear powers on the planet. We cannot remain indifferent to what happens there"

Belgium’s Hadja Lahbib is also taking part in the discussions. She is then expected back in Brussels at 17.00 for a debate on the visas granted to Iranian delegates to the Brussels Urban Summit. “We are going to consult via video link with Ukrainian Foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba, who should give us more information on the situation on the ground,” she said. “The fighting as part of the counter-offensive is very intense.”

The Wagner uprising may have implications for the war in Ukraine and for Europe but also for Africa, Lahbib said, as Russian paramilitaries are also active there.

EU foreign ministers are discussing the 11th sanctions package against Russia approved last week and will give the go-ahead for an additional 3.5 billion euros for the European Peace Facility. This will be used to supply weapons to Ukraine and support military missions abroad.

Meanwhile, NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg told a press conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, that the uprising showed the invasion of Ukraine was a “strategic mistake” by Vladimir Putin.


People visit Moscow’s Zaryadye Park, a short distance from the Kremlin, on 25 June 2023 as Wagner mercenaries were returning to base © NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP

Related news

Website preview
Wagner leader calls for uprising against Russia, claims to have taken Rostov
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary army, claimed to be at the headquarters of the Russian army in Rostov-on-Don on Saturday...
Website preview
Put Wagner Group on EU terrorist list, Belgian Greens say
Belgium should take the initiative to put the Russian paramilitary organization Wagner Group on the European list of terrorist organisations...
Website preview
Ukrainian minister calls Wagner uprising 'opportunity' as G7 countries meet
Russia has begun a process of self-destruction by invading Ukraine, Ukraine's deputy defence minister said on Saturday. She called the armed...

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels