Q: Following yesterday’s broadcast of the France 5 documentary on Wagner, and according to what we’ve revealed in investigation after investigation on Mali and the Central African Republic, the next identified “targets”, in addition to destabilization operations in internal affairs… does France recognize a war of influence specifically being directed against it by Russia?
A: The model of the Russian private military company Wagner – which thrives on political turmoil and carries out opportunistic, predatory actions – is widely documented, including by United Nations reports. The company’s action runs counter to stabilization efforts by the Africans and the whole international community.
We are maintaining a frank and demanding dialogue with Russia on these issues, in order to improve international security and stability. As the Minister said last week, “it’s difficult not to think of the fact that these [mercenaries] are former Russian soldiers, transported by Russian planes, who’ve got Russian weapons and are being managed by someone close to Vladimir Putin; it’s difficult to imagine that President Putin doesn’t know what’s going on”.