Le Figaro: France in Mali resists the mercenaries of the so-called Wagner groups

Discussions between the Malian junta and the Russians continue despite pressure from Paris, which is mobilizing Europe to confront Wagner’s mercenaries linked to the Kremlin, Le Figaro writes on Monday.

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“Since the announcement of rapprochement between the Russian Wagner mercenary company and the Malian junta, Paris is trying to block the functioning of Kremlin mercenaries in Bamako, considering it a “red line” in relations between France and Mali “– writes the French daily.

“There cannot be cooperation between French soldiers and Wagner’s mercenaries in the same territory,” argued the Elysée Palace and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a few weeks ago.

“Paris has eased its position now. Collaboration with Russian mercenaries is still considered “unacceptable”, but there is no longer any question of French soldiers leaving Mali “ – writes Le Figaro.

“Leaving would risk failure, as in Afghanistan, it would also be a gift for the Russians,” says a French diplomat, quoted by the daily. “The junta wants, above all, to maintain power. We set conditions to this regime, but the Russians from Wagner’s group are ready to help them survive, ”the diplomat continues. According to him, there are direct contacts between the junta and Dmitry Utkin, “Wagner”. The discussions now revolve around financial issues. Mercenary involvement is valued at $ 10 million. “Is the junta ready to give up its interests in its mines, strain the state budget and risk losing international aid?” – the diplomat wonders.

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“In the Sahel, France is counting on Europe to help oppose the Wagnerists” – summarizes the journal.

“The 27 EU countries are preparing to impose sanctions on Wagner at the next Foreign Affairs Council meeting on December 13, and are making the granting of EUR 24 million of aid to the Malian army conditional on breaking cooperation with the Wagner Group,” Le Figaro reports.

“The European Parliament called on African states to sever all ties with Wagner. Neighboring countries should also demonstrate their reluctance to cooperate with them at the next summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on December 12. According to a source familiar with the case, these international pressures fueled “hesitations” in the Malian junta. “Paris also did everything to convince the countries belonging to the European Takuba Operation Forces to stay in Mali “– analyzes the log.

“Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas spoke about this with President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Paris last week,” recalls the daily.

When asked if Estonia would leave Mali if “Wagner” came, the prime minister replied: “This is a difficult topic. If Wagner settles in Mali, our participation will become very politically sensitive. But Russia is using Wagner to divide Europe. If Europeans leave Mali, Russia will win, so is not the time to give that signal. ‘

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About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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