MOSCOW (Reuters) - The office of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Saturday that he had brokered a deal with mutinous Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin who had agreed to de-escalate the situation.
The announcement, carried on the official Telegram channel of the Belarusian presidency, said Prigozhin had agreed to halt the further movement of Wagner fighters across Russia.
Prigozhin said later on Saturday that he had ordered his fighters advancing on Moscow in convoy to turn around and return to their bases to avoid bloodshed. The Kremlin later confirmed a deal had been struck and that Prigozhin would have all charges against him dropped and move to Belarus.
"The president of Belarus, having further clarified the situation through his own available channels, held talks with the head of the Wagner PMC (private military company), Yevgeny Prigozhin, in coordination with the President of Russia," the Belarusian statement said.
"The talks lasted for an entire day. As a result, they came to an agreement on the inadmissibility of unleashing a bloodbath on the territory of Russia.
Yevgeny Prigozhin accepted the offer of President Alexander Lukashenko to stop the movement of Wagner's armed men on Russian territory and to take further steps to de-escalate tensions."
(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Andrew Osborn)