The EU has imposed additional sanctions against individuals and companies associated with the Russian Wagner military group, including commanders of units involved in the war against Ukraine.
The EU communiqué notes that Wagner’s mercenaries operate in Libya, the Central African Republic, Mali, and Sudan, in addition to their operations in Russia’s war with Ukraine.
“The activities of the Wagner Group pose a threat to people in the countries where they operate and to the European Union. They jeopardize international peace and security as they operate outside any legal framework,” said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.
New anti-Wagner sanctions list includes 8 individuals and 7 legal entities
The sanctions list includes eight individuals and seven legal entities under the EU’s special sanctions mechanism for human rights violations, one under the Mali sanctions regime, and two in connection with actions aimed at undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence.
“These individuals include two commanders of Wagner’s forces who took an active part in the seizure of the city of Soledar in January 2023; the head of Wagner’s group in Mali, where Wagner’s mercenaries participated in violent acts and numerous human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions, and several important members of the group in the Central African Republic,” the communiqué says.
Read on this topic in our article Africa – Russia: friendship for convenience – grain and military mercenaries.
Wagner commanders involved in the assault on Solder are sanctioned
The published list of names shows that the two commanders involved in the assault on Soledar are Hayk Gasparyan, an Armenian citizen with the call sign “Abrek,” who received an award from the Russian president in December 2022, and Anton Elizarov, a Russian citizen with the call sign “Lotus.”
Among the legal entities subject to the restrictions are Meroe Gold, M-Invest and its head, Lobaye Invest Sarlu and Diamville, which are associated with the Wagner group’s activities in Sudan and the Central African Republic.
The list also includes the group’s PR structure, Foundation for the Defense of National Values (FDNV), with its head and radio station Lengo Sengo, the latter of which is listed for information influence operations in the interests of Russia and the Wagner group.
The new EU sanctions include:
- An asset freeze.
- A ban on entry and transit through EU countries.
- A ban on individuals and companies in the EU from providing funds to them.
These sanctions are in addition to the measures agreed upon in December 2021, which targeted 8 individuals and 3 legal entities and the Wagner group as a whole. In addition, at that time, the EU Council established a separate sanctions regime for those involved in threatening peace and stability in Mali.
The EU’s global sanctions regime for human rights violations was established in December 2020.
Calls to recognize Russia’s Wagner as a terrorist organization
In December, U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration announced introducing new restrictions on the export of technology for the Russian armed formation “Wagner Group.” The main goal is to further cut off supplies to the private military company because of its role in the Russian-Ukrainian war.
The time has come to see Wagner militants and those who run the military group hold responsibility for the crimes that they committed in Africa, Ukraine, Syria, and other countries.