Dhe European Council added the Russian mercenary group Wagner to its sanctions list for its “active” involvement in the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. The measure was justified on Thursday evening in Brussels by undermining the actions of the Wagner group and threatening “the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine”. In February, the EU had already imposed sanctions on 11 people and seven entities linked to the Wagner Group. Some of them are accused of serious human rights violations in the Central African Republic and in Sudan, others are said to endanger security or stability in Mali.
The multiple sanctions underscore the international dimension and seriousness of the group’s activities, as well as their destabilizing impact on the countries where it operates, the statement said. The Wagner group played a leading role in the attacks on the Ukrainian cities of Soledar and Bakhmut.
In addition, the European Council imposed sanctions on the Russian media organization Ria Fan. It is part of the Patriot Media Group, whose board of directors is headed by the head of the Wagner mercenaries, Yevgeny Prigozhin. The news agency is involved in pro-government propaganda and disinformation about Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the European Council said.
In total, 1,473 individuals and 207 entities are now subject to EU restrictive measures in relation to activities that undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, it said. The assets of the named individuals would be frozen and EU citizens and companies would be prohibited from providing them with funds.