By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 14 December 2021:
The EU adopted what it called ‘‘a set of restrictive measures’’ yesterday against the Wagner Group, which it described as a Russia-based unincorporated private military entity. The measures target the Wagner group itself, and eight individuals and three entities connected to it.
The EU said 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 EU said the individuals it listed 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 they operate in, including Libya, Syria, Ukraine (Donbas) and the Central African Republic. The EU said Wagner is also spreading its malign influence elsewhere, notably in the Sahel region. For these reasons, the EU continued, the group constitutes a threat for the people in the countries where they are present, the wider region and for the European Union.
The EU said the aim the 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 EU explained that the restrictive measures imposed were agreed under four different 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.
The listed individuals and entities, the EU said, will now 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.