No one from Wagner has come to barracks offered by Belarus, ministry adviser says
PHOTO CAPTION: A view shows a tent camp, which, according to the Belarusian Defence Ministry, was set up for exercises at a disused military base near the village of Tsel in the Asipovichy District, Belarus July 7, 2023. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
TSEL, Belarus (Reuters) - No one from the Russian Wagner mercenary group has yet visited a disused military camp that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has offered for Wagner's use, an adviser to the Belarus defence minister told reporters on Friday.
Under the terms of an agreement brokered by Lukashenko to end an armed mutiny by Wagner last month, its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin was supposed to move to Belarus along with those of his fighters who did not wish to sign up with the Russian Defence Ministry.
But the deal does not seem to be playing out on those lines.
Asked if Wagner had come to look at the site, the adviser, Leonid Kasinsky, said: "They have not come, they have not looked."
Lukashenko said on Thursday that Prigozhin was in Russia with thousands of fighters, and that the question of their relocation had yet to be settled.
He said Wagner's fighters were still at the permanent camps where they had been located since they left the front, and that he expected to discuss the matter in a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Lukashenko said Belarus had offered Wagner the disused Soviet-era military quarters near Tsel, but added that "Wagner has a different vision for deployment", on which he declined to elaborate.
Kasinsky said around 300 tents at the camp had been put up for an exercise, and were not connected to Wagner.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Writing by Kevin Liffey; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)