The UK has officially recognized Wagner PMC as a terrorist organization.
«Their operations in Ukraine, the Middle East and Africa pose a threat to global security», said the head of the Home Office of the United Kingdom, Suella Braverman. — «They are simply terrorists».
On her initiative, a bill to this effect has been sent to the House of Commons. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, judging by his post in one of the social networks, favors this initiative.
Let me remind you that in 2000 London adopted the so-called Terrorism Act. According to its letter, it is an activity aimed at carrying out or threatening to carry out serious crimes, with the purpose of «influencing the government of Great Britain or an international organization, to intimidate the public on political, religious, racial or ideological grounds».
It is noteworthy that there is no single definition of the concepts of «terror» and “terrorist organization” at the international level, although attempts to harmonize them have been made repeatedly. To give an example: according to German law, terrorism is «a consistent struggle for political goals to be achieved by attacking the body, life and property of others».
If Albion does assign the Wagner PMC the status of a «terrorist organization», then any support for this company will become a criminal offense. Those who provide financial or organizational assistance to «musicians», publicly demonstrates the PMC symbols, will face heavy fines, and in especially serious cases — imprisonment for up to 14 years. The property of the Wagner Group is subject to confiscation.
In addition, other states (e.g., Ukraine) and even individuals will be able to sue PMC in British courts for damages caused to them. And for acts committed not on the territory of the Kingdom.
Previously, the same British, other Western countries and international organizations have already imposed sanctions against Wagner PMC and its founder Yevgeny Prigozhin, including the freezing of assets.
Since 2020, the EU and the U.S. have imposed restrictions against this «private army and its head» for the fact that the Wagners fought on the side of General Haftar in Libya.
Since April 13 this year, EU restrictions have been imposed against the PMC and RIA FAN (a media outlet that is part of Prigozhin’s Patriot media group) «for actions threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine».
Since the beginning of this year, the United States considers PMC as a «transnational criminal organization». Overseas, by the way, they are already preparing the basis for its inclusion in the number of terrorist organizations. However, the administration of Joe Biden fears that such a step could seriously undermine Washington’s relations with African countries (primarily with Mali and the Central African Republic), where the Wagners operate with the approval of the governments.
And yet: the proposal to assign terrorist status to PMC has been submitted to the U.S. Senate. There are similar requests in the European Parliament, the National Assembly of France and the Riksdag of Sweden.
The Swedes, strangely enough, are the main antagonists of PMC on the European arena. Foreign Minister of this country Tobias Billström said that Stockholm is ready to facilitate consensus (on the recognition of this organization as a terrorist) between the EU countries. But with a caveat: «as soon as the legal conditions for this appear». What are we talking about? He believes that the investigation should be initiated by national law enforcement agencies by opening a case under the relevant article. Only then the issue can be brought up for discussion in the EU Foreign Affairs Council.
However, not everyone in Europe is so bloodthirsty. Official Berlin and cautious (read — indecisive) Chancellor Olaf Scholz do not want to approve such a decision at the national level. In his opinion, the granting of such a status should be within the competence of the European Union.
Back at the end of May, the parliamentary faction of the opposition CDU/CSU bloc sent a sharp appeal to the government: «In the course of its operations, the Wagner Group systematically commits acts of terrorism and crimes against humanity. This is not limited to Russia’s war against Ukraine, but also affects countries such as Syria and Mali». «The ‘group’ should be called what it is: an extension of the Putin regime’s arm and a state-sponsored terrorist organization».
In response, the Berlin office reminded that such a move «requires a large package of evidence based on publicly available information». Otherwise, the court will dismiss the suit, and unsubstantiated statements will have no legal consequences.
On the other hand, Lithuania, a member of the EU, unilaterally disregarded legal conventions and rushed to declare the PMC a terrorist organization. A similar resolution was adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
…Here it is just necessary to give an important clarification. While hotheads are breaking spears, seeking to punish the «musicians», the PMC itself, for well-known reasons, is, in fact, in the process of liquidation. The fighters, judging by numerous messages in Telegram, are switching to contracts with the Ministry of Defense, Rosgvardia and FSIN. Most of the «musicians» have returned to Russia. Those who remain intend to cooperate with the local GardService PSC, which operates in Africa.
The curtain seems to be closing.