According to CBS television channel, US Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy has been in contact with Russian foreign ministry officials amid the situation involving PMC Wagner, a private military company.
However, there have been no contacts between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, as reported by CBS citing its sources.
Secretary Blinken stated in an interview with CBS that he instructed his team to engage with the Russians to ensure they understood their responsibilities in protecting American personnel and citizens in Russia. He mentioned that there had been engagements with the Russians over the weekend to convey this message, but he did not provide further details.
The US Department of State has not responded to inquiries about Ambassador Tracy’s contacts with Russian diplomats.
The situation around PMC Wagner escalated when audio recordings were posted on PMC Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Telegram channel, claiming attacks on his units and blaming the military leadership. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) opened a criminal case related to calls for armed rebellion, and the Defense Ministry denied the allegations of strikes on PMC Wagner camps.
Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the nation, describing PMC Wagner’s actions as an armed mutiny and treason and promising tough measures against those involved. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko held talks with Prigozhin, resulting in a de-escalation plan.
Prigozhin announced that PMC Wagner was halting its advance and returning to its field camps. The Russian authorities stated that the criminal case against Prigozhin would be dropped, and they would not prosecute PMC Wagner troops who participated in the mutiny due to their “combat merits.”