Sweden to Seek EU Recognition of Wagner Group as Terrorist Organisation

Friday, 12 May 2023

Sweden will seek to define the EU's recognition of the Wagner Group private military company as a terrorist organisation.

According to the minister, his country, which currently presides over the Council of the European Union, is ready to develop a consensus among EU member states as soon as the legal conditions are fulfilled.

"Sweden is ready to work on creating unity in the EU to include the Wagner Group in the list of EU terrorist sanctions as soon as the legal prerequisites for this appear," Tobias Billström, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, said in a written comment to the Dagens Nyheter.

Currently, 13 individuals and 21 groups are included in the list of those recognised as terrorists in the EU.

"For a group to be subject to EU terrorism sanctions, a judicial or equivalent national competent authority, such as a court or prosecutor, must decide whether to initiate a preliminary investigation or prosecution against the group, or whether a conviction for a terrorist act should take place. The judiciary should make such a decision," the minister explained.

Thus, discussing this issue in the EU Foreign Affairs Council will be possible only after the specified conditions are fulfilled.

The Wagner Group was founded in 2014 and is currently managed by Yevgeny Prigozhin, an associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The EU froze Prigozhin's assets in 2020. He was also banned from entering the EU because he had sent his mercenaries to the war in Libya.

The UK Parliament also wants to recognise Wagner Group as a terrorist organisation. This will probably happen within a few weeks.

On 9 May, the National Assembly, the lower house of the French parliament, voted in favour of recognising the Wagner Private Military Group [PMC] as a terrorist organisation.

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