EU can recognize Russian Wagner group as a terrorist organization after France did so

Sweden, which holds the EU presidency, will seek the EU classification of the Russian mercenary military group Wagner as a terrorist organization.

Sweden will seek EU classification of Wagner as a terrorist organization – Billström

Tobias Billström, the foreign minister of Sweden, said this to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

According to the minister, Sweden, which currently holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union, is ready to establish a consensus on this topic among EU member states as soon as the legal conditions are met.

“Sweden is ready to work to create unity in the EU to include the Wagner Group in the EU’s terrorist sanctions list as soon as the legal prerequisites for this appear,” the diplomat said in a written comment to the publication.

Wagner private military company, a mercenary group, is used by the Russian regime in its war against Ukraine. Wagner mercenaries are accused of war crimes, executions of POWs, torture, rape, looting.

France recognized Wagner as a terrorist organization

On May 9, the National Assembly, the French parliament’s lower chamber, decided to designate the Wagner group as a terrorist organization.

13 people and 21 groups are currently on the list of individuals and organizations the EU has designated as terrorists.

“For a group to be subject to EU sanctions on terrorism, a judicial or equivalent national competent authority, such as a court or prosecutor, must decide whether to initiate a preliminary investigation or criminal prosecution against the group, or whether to convict it of a terrorist act. The judiciary must make this decision”.

Tobias Billström, foreign minister of Sweden

Therefore, the EU Foreign Affairs Council can only address the matter once these requirements have been satisfied.

Wagner’s owner is under the EU sanctions

The Wagner Group was founded in 2014 and is owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In 2020, Prigozhin’s assets in the EU were frozen. As he dispatched his mercenaries to the war in Libya, Prigozhin was also prohibited from entering the EU.

According to reports, the British parliament likewise supports designating Wagner as a terrorist group. This will probably occur within a few weeks.

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