Regarding the concerns of the Italian government for the role of the Wagner group that could be involved in the increase in migrant flows, the vice president of the EU Commission, Margaritis Schinas, commented: "What causes migration is the fact that in countries of origin and transitit is necessary to build the conditions for a better life " and "prevent people from entrusting their lives to traffickers. Wagner or not, this is something incidental. The cause of migration is that people flee war and persecution or flee for a better life." This is how Schinas responds to those who, at a press conference, asked him if Brussels shares the concerns of the Italian government, on the role of Wagner in the new crisis of flows in the Mediterranean.
"We must work with the countries of origin and transit - insisted Schinas - and it is one of the crucial elements of our strategy, to address the causes of migratory routes. 10% of our external funding is directed to migration-related dossiers. We have mobilised all the members of the College of Commissioners, I am planning a mission to Egypt. I don't think we need to waste time on the ancillary causes of migratory routes."
The controversy stems from the words of Defense Minister Guido Crosetto: "It seems to me that the exponential increase in the migratory phenomenon that starts from the African coasts is also, to a considerable extent, part of a clear strategy of hybrid warfare" that Wagner "is implementing, using its significant weight in some African countries". The "global clash that the Ukrainian conflict has opened", adds the Minister of Defense, uses "uncontrolled immigration" to "hit the most exposed countries, first and foremost Italy".
The response was not long in coming with an audio on Telegram, by the head of the Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin: "We have no idea what is happening regarding the migrant crisis, but we do not deal with it," she says. To then use the Russian term 'Mudak' about Crosetto, a heavy insult.