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Russia Received China's 'Support' Over Wagner Mutiny: Ministry

Putin, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and China's Defense Minister Li Shangfu (R-L) pictured during a meeting at the Kremlin in April. Pavel Bednyakov / POOL / TASS

Russia's Foreign Ministry said Sunday that Beijing had backed Moscow's efforts to counter a short-lived armed uprising led by the head of the Wagner mercenary group Yevgeny Prigozhin.

"The Chinese side expressed support for the efforts of the leadership of the Russian Federation to stabilize the situation in the country in connection with the events of June 24, and reaffirmed its interest in strengthening the unity and further prosperity of Russia," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The release came after a meeting in Beijing between China's Deputy Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko. 

Wagner mercenaries were headed back to base Sunday as their mutinous leader agreed to go into exile after President Vladimir Putin was forced to accept an amnesty deal. 

China's readout from the meeting however said the two deputy foreign ministers had "exchanged views" on bilateral ties and "international and regional issues of common concern." 

Beijing says it is a neutral party in the Ukraine conflict, but has been criticized by Western countries for refusing to condemn Moscow and for its close strategic partnership with Russia.

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