Home SECURITY & DEFENCE Russia’s Wagner Group: European Council adds 11 individuals and 7 entities to EU sanctions lists

Russia’s Wagner Group: European Council adds 11 individuals and 7 entities to EU sanctions lists

by gary cartwright
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The Council decided today to impose additional restrictive measures against individuals and entities linked to the Wagner Group in view of the international dimension and gravity of the group’s activities, as well as its destabilising impact on the countries where it is active.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

The Wagner Group’s activities are a threat for the people in the countries where they operate and the European Union. They endanger international peace and security as they do not operate within any legal framework. The EU is determined to continue taking tangible action against breaches to international law. We stand up for human rights everywhere.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

The Wagner Group is a Russia-based unincorporated private military entity, present in several countries, including Ukraine, Libya, the Central African Republic (CAR), Mali and Sudan.

In particular, the Council decided to list eight individuals and seven entities under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime responsible for or involved in serious human rights abuses in the Central African Republic and Sudan as well as one individual under the Mali sanctions regime responsible for actions threatening the peace, security, or stability of Mali. Two individuals were also listed in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

The listed individuals include two commanders of Wagner Group forces actively involved in the capture of the town of Soledar in Ukraine in January 2023, the head of the Wagner Group in Mali, where Wagner mercenaries have been involved in acts of violence and multiple human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, as well as various high-profile members of the group in the CAR. The latter include the security advisor to the President of the CAR, the spokesperson of the group in the country, as well as notable members of the group in operational roles, or steering pro-Wagner propaganda and disinformation campaigns.

The group activities in Sudan are also targeted, as listings cover companies such as Meroe Gold and M-Invest, and the head of the latter. These companies, together with Lobaye Invest Sarlu and Diamville in the CAR are sanctioned in view of their role in illegally trading gold and diamonds looted by force from local traders.

The Foundation for the Defence of National Values (FDNV), the public relations arm of the Wagner Group, is also listed, as is its head. The Central African radio station Lengo Sengo is listed for engaging in online influence operations on behalf of Russia and the Wagner Group with the goal of manipulating public opinion.

All those listed today are subject to an asset freeze and EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to them. Natural persons are additionally subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territories.

The EU remains deeply concerned about serious human rights violations and abuses, such as torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and killings, committed by the Wagner Group.

Main Image: Von https://www.cardin.senate.gov – https://www.cardin.senate.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/skynews-wagner-mercenaries_5983699.jpg, Gemeinfrei, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=128152716

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