In a resolution adopted on Thursday, the European Parliament condemned the crimes committed by mercenaries from the Russian Wagner Group and its private military affiliates. MEPs called on all countries using the group’s services to sever all ties with the organization.
“The Russian state appears to be responsible for the financing, training, management and operational command of these paramilitary groups,” say MEPs, stressing that the activities of the Wagner Group correspond to the spread of Russian influence in conflict zones. Parliamentarians emphasize that the Wagner Group and other subcontractors of the Russian-led security forces should be treated as subsidiaries of the Russian state.
European Parliament on the Wagner Group
The resolution notes that the Wagner Group is present in many conflicts around the world, especially in Ukraine, Syria, Sudan, Mozambique, Libya, the Central African Republic and Venezuela. Given the history of violations, MEPs welcome the statement by EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell on the imminent adoption of targeted EU sanctions against “relevant persons and entities affiliated with the Wagner Group” as well as against persons and entities working with them. They are calling for these sanctions to include a travel ban and an asset freeze for group members.
In addition, the resolution calls on all countries that use the services of the Wagner Group and its subsidiaries, especially the Central African Republic, to sever all ties with this organization and its employees. It also calls on the European Commission to ensure that EU funds cannot, under any circumstances, be used to finance private military companies known to violate human rights.
The text was adopted with 585 votes in favor, 40 against and 43 abstentions.
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