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Thursday, November 30, 2023

French parliament declares Wagner a ‘terrorist group’

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The French parliament passed a law on Tuesday designating the Russian paramilitary group Wagner Group as a terrorist organization.

All 331 members of Congress voted in favor of the non-binding resolution. The resolution urges the European Union to list Wagner on the EU list of terrorist groups.

“The purpose of this resolution and its European scope is to strengthen the legal means against [Wagner Group]. Its inclusion in the EU list will affect all stakeholders who make its activities possible: banks. The resolution is non-binding , but it sends a “political and symbolic message”, Haddad said.

“They are not just mercenaries,” Haddad told POLITICO ahead of the vote.

Russian mercenary groups have already been sanctioned several times by the EU. In April 2022, the European Union added Wagner’s top official Yevgeny Prigozhin to sanctions over the war in Ukraine, and in April this year Wagner was added to another list of sanctions “due to his active participation in the war in Russia”. aggression against Ukraine.

Haddad argues that putting Wagner on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations would be a further blow to the group as it strengthens its “systemic tools” against the organization. In other words, “anyone associated with Wagner could be charged with terrorism.”

According to the European Council, 13 people and 21 organizations were on the list. Individuals or entities may be added to the list on the basis of a member state’s proposal, but it must be based on a “decision of the competent authority” of that country or another country.

France is under pressure from the Wagner Group in Africa, where Paris’ influence is waning. In January, French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu said that the Wagner Group had “made France its number one enemy in Africa” and were targeting French interests.

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