Russia Utilizing Wagner Mercenaries to Push Migrants to Europe: Italy

Italian Overseas Minister Antonio Tajani has blamed Russia’s Wagner group for a rise in unlawful migrant arrivals, arguing the non-public navy firm (PMC) has hyperlinks to traffickers in Libya.

Minister Tajani, who serves as Deputy Prime Minister and previously served as President of the European Parliament, said that PMC Wagner, a non-public navy firm current in North Africa and presently combating within the Ukraine battle, is linked to the surge of migrant arrivals in Italy this yr.

“First of all, there is the news that is there for all to see: in a country without the control of a central authority like Libya, the mercenaries of Wagner after supporting one of the parties in the civil war of 2019 remained in many areas,” Tajani informed Il Giornale and added, “We have indications that they are very active and in contact with gangs of traffickers and militiamen interested in the smuggling of migrants.”

“They are a decisive factor in Libya, but I know that the structural causes are a geopolitical crisis of proportions not seen in years,” he added.

Tajani listed a number of international locations as sources for unlawful migrants, together with Tunisia, saying the nation “is literally populated by sub-Saharan migrants who have almost invaded the country for weeks and who are preparing for a leap to Europe.”

The Italian minister’s feedback come simply weeks after Tunisian President Kais Saied said that unlawful immigration was a “criminal enterprise” geared toward altering the demographics of his nation and changing its “Arab-Muslim” character.

Minister Tajani isn’t the one Italian senior official to call PMC Wagner in reference to the surge of unlawful arrivals, as Italian Protection Minister Guido Crosetto additionally launched a press release naming the group.

“I think it is now safe to say that the exponential increase in the migratory phenomenon departing from African shores is also, to a not insignificant extent, part of a clear strategy of hybrid warfare that the Wagner division is implementing, using its considerable weight in some African countries,” Crosetto stated.

Whereas Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has promised to declare struggle on folks smugglers, the variety of migrants arriving in Italy because the begin of the yr has tripled in comparison with the identical interval in 2022, with the Italian Inside Ministry stating over 17,000 have arrived illegally.

The weaponisation of migration flows in a hybrid warfare bid to destabilise Europe is an rising tactic of Russia and its brokers. 2021-22 noticed a large push of migrants onto its jap border flowing by Belarus, a Russian puppet state. The Polish authorities stated the trouble was being artificially engineered by Belarussian authorities to trigger chaos and divide the European Union.

Observe Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or electronic mail at ctomlinson(at)


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