The European Parliament has adopted a resolution condemning Wagner private military company for human rights violations and other crimes in conflict zones. The text was adopted by 585 votes in favour, 40 against and 43 abstentions, as European Parliament press service reports.
“MEPs condemn in the strongest terms the heinous crimes committed by the Russian paramilitary organisation the Wagner Group and related private military entities in various conflict areas. The Russian state appears to bear responsibility for the funding, training, management and operational command of these paramilitary groups, MEPs say, while pointing out that the Wagner Group’s activities correspond with the spread of Russia’s influence in conflict zones. The Wagner Group, and other Russian-led security contractors, should be treated as proxy organisations of the Russian state,” MEPs insist.
The resolution states that the Wagner Group is present in many conflicts around the world, notably in Ukraine, Syria, Sudan, Mozambique, Libya, the Central African Republic and Venezuela, and the European Parliament calls on the EC to impose sanctions on it.
MEPs welcome the statement made by EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell on the imminent adoption of targeted EU sanctions against “relevant individuals and entities affiliated with the Wagner Group”, as well as individuals and entities working with them. They call for these sanctions to include travel bans and assets freezes on Wagner operatives.
In addition, the resolution urges all countries using the services of the Wagner Group and its affiliates, particularly the Central African Republic, to cut all ties with the group and its employees. It calls on the European Commission to ensure that EU funds cannot, under any circumstances, be used by recipient countries to fund private military companies with such terrible human rights records.
Earlier, The Insider together with Bellingcat investigated the circumstances of the interception of the plane with Wagner militants.
It is said that more than 30 mercenaries of the Wagner PMC were detained on July 29, 2020 near Minsk. At the time, Belarusian law enforcement officials reported that mercenaries had allegedly arrived in the country to destabilize the situation ahead of the presidential election. Two weeks after the Wagner militants were detained, they were returned to Russia, although Ukraine requested extradition. It later turned out that the Wagner militants, some of whom had taken part in the hostilities in Donbas, were going to be detained by Ukrainian special services. But the operation failed. According to a number of media outlets, this happened after the leak from the President's Office.
However, the Temporary Investigation Committee of the Verkhovna Rada, judging by the conclusions previously voiced by its Chairman, MP from the Servant of the People Mariana Bezugla, did not find Ukrainian officials guilty in disrupting the operation or a confirmation that President Volodymyr Zelensky personally ordered the postponement of the operation.