Europe (Times Of Ocean)- The European Union on Thursday has blacklisted the head of the Wagner Group for actions that violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
According to the Council of the European Union, two more individuals have been banned from traveling and their assets frozen for their role in undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, and for benefitting from “the illegal annexation of Crimea or the destabilization of eastern Ukraine.” Sanctions
Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin, “the founder and unofficial head of the Wagner Group” according to the statement, has been found to be involved in mercenary operations in Ukraine, according to the statement. Prigozhin is also linked to President (Vladimir) Putin and the Russian Ministry of Defense.
“Several of his companies have benefited from large public contracts with the Russian Ministry of Defense since the illegal annexation of Crimea and occupation of eastern Ukraine by Russia-backed separatists” the report said.
Another person sanctioned is Ukrainian businessman Serhiy Vitaliyovich Kurchenko, who “took control of several large metallurgical, chemical, and energy plants in separatist-held areas with support from pro-Russian separatists,” the Council explained in its decision.
As a result of Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty since the start of the war on Feb. 24, the EU has imposed five sets of sanctions on Russia.
With the new update, the total number of people sanctioned by the EU for undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity now stands at 1,093.
In addition, the EU has banned coal imports and luxury goods exports to Russia, and barred Russian and Belarusian banks from using the SWIFT international banking system.
– Wagner Group
As stated in a resolution adopted by the European Parliament in November, the Wagner Group’s activities correspond to a growing Russian influence zone, making it highly likely that the group is funded, trained, managed, and operated by the Russian military.
As an agent of the Russian state, the private mercenary company is considered by the US Defense Department.
According to reports, the Wagner Group has been operating in Crimea and eastern Ukraine since 2014.
Moreover, they have also intervened in the Central African Republic, Syria, Sudan, Mozambique, Libya, and Venezuela, according to the European Parliament.