EU Concerned About Alleged Russian Mercenaries In Mali - Borrell

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 27th January, 2022) The European Union is concerned about alleged Russian mercenaries who are said to be operating in Mali and endangering the country's civilian population, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Borrell received foreign ministers from Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad in Brussels and held bilateral discussions with each of his counterparts.

"In line with the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) declarations, I reiterated our significant concern following the now-demonstrated deployment of Russian mercenaries in Mali and the very grave risks which this exposes the civilian population to. These groups' methods are incompatible with our collective efforts to promote security and development," Borrell said in a statement made after the meetings.

The official also said that the EU was still engaged in the Sahel region and remains a reliable partner there. At the same time, he warned that local populations have urgent needs and impatience is growing, which poses a risk of terrorist movements exploiting them.

Russia has repeatedly denied the Western countries' allegations of being militarily present in various African countries. The Kremlin has specifically addressed the claim regarding Mali, saying there are no representatives of the Russian armed forces in that country.