‘Part of a hybrid war’: Italy accuses PMC ‘Wagner’ of migrant influx

According to Guido Crosetto, head of the Italian Ministry of Defense, “Putin’s chief” Yevgeny Prigozhin is involved in a massive increase in immigration.

On Monday, March 13, the Italian government announced that Russian PMC “Wagner” mercenaries were involved in the tragedy near Italy. It was about taking revenge on the country for supporting Ukraine. Authorities suspect that attempts by people to cross the Mediterranean illegally are part of the Kremlin’s strategy. Reported by Reuters.

“We can now safely say that the exponential growth of immigration on the African coast is part of an open hybrid war strategy that the Wagner unit is using its weight in some African countries.” said Guido Crosetto, Italian Defense Minister.

The head of the Italian Ministry of Defense called on NATO allies to assist the state in countering the influx of migrants.

“The Atlantic alliance is strengthened if the problems of collective choice are also shared, but there is a risk of disintegration if the countries most susceptible to various forms of retaliation are left alone,” Crosetto said.

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani also commented on the immigration problem. He said he was concerned about the arrival of immigrants from areas controlled by PMCs.

According to the Italian Ministry of the Interior, about 20,000 immigrants arrived in Italy this year. At the same time, significantly fewer people came to the country in the same period of 2022 – about 6,000. The immigration issue is reportedly increasing the pressure on the right-wing government.

Russia’s response

RosSMI writes that Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of PMC “Wagner”, responded to the accusations. The Russian turned to the Italian official and advised him to concentrate on his own problems.

“We don’t know at all what happened to the immigration crisis and we are not dealing with it. We have a lot of work to do too. And Guido Crossetto… We should look around less and deal with our own problems.” It would seem that his own problems exploded, ”Prigozhin said.

Recall that on Sunday, February 26, a ship with about 200 people on board sank near the Italian port city of Crotone. They were immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Iraq and Iran. The then Italian Prime Minister, Georgia Maloney, described the Mediterranean as a “mass grave”.

Earlier, on February 21, Georgia Maloney announced a new package of military aid to Ukraine. Italy announced that it provides air defense systems to the Ukrainian defenders – SAMP-T and Skyguard Аspide. The official refused to procure warplanes because they were not “weapons of defense”.

Source: Focus

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