President Putin’s position is absolutely stable: Russian diplomat

New Delhi: Kremlin says it had made a deal that the mercenary chief will move to Belarus

BY | Tuesday, 27 June, 2023

President Vladimir Putin’s position is absolutely stable and there is no change in overall situation in Russia, a senior Kremlin diplomat said on Monday, days after a brief rebellion against Putin by mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Russia’s special presidential representative for international cultural cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy said Prigozhin wanted to become Russian president but it was a “mistake”.

Shvydkoy, currently on a visit to India, was speaking to a small group of reporters here.

“The current situation in Russia is stable and the contemporary position of President Putin is also absolutely stable,” he said, replying to a question.

Shvydkoy, a former minister of culture, said Russians get fully united when the country faces any challenging situation.

“The situation is more or less the same. Russia is totally united,” he said while refusing to elaborate further.

The rebellion by Prigozhin and the forces loyal to him marked the most serious challenge to President Putin in more than two decades of his rule and triggered questions over his leadership.

“He (Prigozhin) decided he will be the next Russian president. That was a mistake,” Shvydkoy said.

The short-lived revolt ended on Saturday when Prigozhin ordered his troops back. The Kremlin said it had made a deal that the mercenary chief will move to Belarus.

Read more: Putin seriously weakened by Wagner Group mutiny but it was a missed opportunity for Ukraine too

In his comments, Shvydkoy strongly pitched for expansion of cultural ties between India and Russia.

He said there is a huge opportunity to increase exchange of students between the two countries.

The visiting diplomat has already held talks with senior officials of the ministries of culture, external affairs and education.

“Many Indian and Russian universities want deeper cooperation. Some Russian universities may be wanting to have chapters in India,” he said.

The diplomat said there is huge scope for expansion of cooperation between India and Russia in areas of agriculture, medicine and biotechnology, among others.

“We must open new phases in our cultural ties,” he said.

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