NATO is ready to defend itself against any threat from “Moscow or Minsk,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday after the Belarusian government announced it had welcomed the head of Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin. .

Mr Stoltenberg said NATO would ratify the decision to strengthen its defenses at its upcoming summit in mid-July in Lithuania to protect all its members, particularly those bordering Russia and Belarus.

“It is too early to draw a definitive conclusion about the consequences of Prigozhin’s installation in Belarus and the very possible presence also in Belarus of some of his forces,” Mr Stoltenberg told the press.

“What is clear is that we have sent a clear message to Moscow and Minsk: NATO is here to protect every ally and every centimeter of its territory,” he added in The Hague after a dinner with seven heads of state and government of NATO member countries. North Atlantic Treaty.

“There is therefore no room for misunderstandings in Moscow or Minsk regarding our ability to defend our allies against any potential threat,” the Norwegian continued. He also said that the West “should not underestimate Russia”, despite the chaotic developments of the last few days.

Belarus announced on Tuesday the arrival of Yevgeny Prigozhin in its territory, as part of the agreement that ended his nearly twenty-four-hour rebellion in Russia on Saturday.

Dutch conservative Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who hosted the dinner, for his part rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement that the West would like Russians to kill each other.

“I refute what Mr. Putin implied yesterday, that we, the West, want Russia to sink into chaos. On the contrary, instability in Russia creates instability in Europe,” Mr. Rutte emphasized.