Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, said on Monday that Moscow’s intelligence services were investigating whether Western spy agencies played a role in the short-lived insurrection by Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Lavrov said in an interview with state broadcaster RT:“I work in a government ministry that is not engaged in gathering evidence of unlawful acts being committed, but we do have such agencies and, I assure you, they are already looking into it.”
Moreover, he said that when the US ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy spoke with Russian officials she tried to send “signals” conveying that Washington was not involved in the uprising.
“When US ambassador Tracy spoke with Russian representatives [regarding the situation with Prigozhin] yesterday, she conveyed signals. These signals were, first of all, that the US had nothing to do with it, that the US very much hopes that nuclear weapons will be fine, that American diplomats will not suffer, and it was especially emphasized: the US proceeds from the fact that everything that happened is an internal affair of Russia,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov went on to accuse American intelligence agencies of hoping that the aborted uprising would succeed. He specifically pointed to CNN reports which stated that US intelligence officials saw signs of Prigozhin’s planned rebellion ahead of time but chose not to weigh in.
“This was probably wishful thinking,” Lavrov said, accusing the US of being an enthusiastic supporter of regime change when it can benefit from the process and claimed there had been numerous attempts at regime change around the world in recent years that were “met with a different response on the part of the US, depending on who was in power and who was trying to carry out the coup.”
He added: “Where the West is happy with the current government, in such situations no protest can be legitimate. But where the government doesn’t reflect the interests of the hegemon and is pursuing the national interests, in those cases we see various unlawful forces are being stimulated [to attack the authorities].”
This comes two days after top mercenary Yevgeny Prigozhin started a brief but impactful insurrection over the weekend. The rebellion ended by him calling off his Wagner forces’ march on Moscow after agreeing to a deal, mediated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, which would see him exiled in Belarus without any legal action taken against him in Russia.