Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said he warned Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin twice to watch out for threats to his life.
The Wagner warlord, who led a failed uprising against the Kremlin two months ago, was on board a plane that crashed on Wednesday. The cause of the crash remains unclear.
“The first time was when I phoned him and negotiations (were taking) place while they were marching on Moscow,” Lukashenko told reporters in comments carried by Belarusian state news agency Belta on Friday.
“I told him: ‘Yevgeny, do you understand that you will doom your people and will perish yourself?’ He had just come back from the front. On an impulse he said: ‘I will die then, damn it!”
Warned "in no uncertain terms": Lukashenko said the second time he warned him was when Prigozhin and Dmitriy Utkin, a long-time lieutenant of Prigozhin’s, had come to see him. The Belarusian leader says he “warned them in no uncertain terms to watch it.” Lukashenko did not say when the meeting took place.
The Belarusian president said he suggested to Prigozhin that he could talk with Putin and “guarantee full security” in Belarus if he was concerned for his safety, Belta reported.
“I said: ‘If you are afraid of something, I will talk to President (Vladimir) Putin and we will extract you to Belarus. We guarantee full security to you in Belarus.’ And credit where credit is due, Yevgeny Prigozhin has never asked me to separately pay attention to security matters,” Lukashenko said.
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