EU targets Russia Wagner group

Brussels 14.12.2021 Anna van Densky The European Council adopted a set of restrictive measures against the Wagner Group, a Russia-based private military entity. The measures target the Wagner group itself, and also eight related individuals.(Image above: illustration)

According to the EU Council statement, the Wagner Group has recruited, trained and sent private military operatives to conflict zones around the world to “fuel violence, loot natural resources and intimidate civilians in violation of international law, including international human rights law”.

The individuals listed by the EU are involved in “serious human rights abuses”, including “torture and extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and killings, or in destabilising activities” in some of the countries and regions they operate in, including Libya, Syria, Donbass and the Central African Republic (CAR). The group is also spreading its influence elsewhere, notably in Africa in Sahel region. For these reasons the group constitutes a “threat for the people in the countries were they are present, the wider region and for the European Union”.

The aim of today’s decision is to curtail the subversive activities of the Wagner Group. It signals the EU’s strong determination to stand up for its interests and values in its neighbourhood and beyond, and to take tangible action against those threatening international peace and security, and breaching international law.

The restrictive measures imposed today were agreed under four sanctions regimes: the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, and sanctions regimes relating to the situation in Libya and Syria, as well as for actions undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

From now onwards the listed individuals and entities will be subject to an asset freeze in the EU. In addition, listed individuals will be subject to a travel ban to the EU. Moreover, persons and entities in the EU will be prohibited from making funds available, either directly or indirectly, to those listed.

The relevant legal acts, including the names of the persons and entities concerned, have been published in the Official Journal.

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