Putin tells newspaper about Wagner offer made in meeting

(Bloomberg) – President Vladimir Putin told a Russian newspaper that he offered Wagner’s mercenary forces the option of continuing to serve as a single unit under the same commander when he met them after the failed mutiny last month, the Associated Press reported. Putin told the Kommersant business daily about the three-hour meeting attended by Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin and top commanders on June 29, which was disclosed by the Kremlin this week. “All of them could have gathered in one place and continued to serve,” Putin told the newspaper. “And nothing would have changed for them.

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Germany’s finance minister said additional funding to support Ukraine should be separate from the EU’s long-term budget, and the bloc will continue to find solutions to help Kyiv. In the United States, the House of Representatives defeated an effort by far-right Republicans to cut security aid to Ukraine, cementing – for now – a bipartisan wall of support in Kyiv.

Ukraine’s president said military intelligence sees no threat of another invasion from the territory of Belarus, where thousands of Wagnerian forces are likely to gather. The conflict is at an impasse, a senior US intelligence official said, a pessimistic assessment of a counteroffensive that some US and European leaders hoped would turn the tide in favor of Kiev.

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Wheat futures stabilized on Thursday after their steepest decline in two weeks as markets assessed a dimmer outlook for global supplies. The expiration of the agreement allowing Ukrainian shipments via the Black Sea looms on July 17, and efforts to extend it continue. Putin said in a television interview on Thursday that Russia was still considering what to do with the deal, which Moscow has repeatedly criticized.

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