UK struggles to blacklist Wagner PMC as terrorist organization

31 July, 06:55 PM
Wagner PMC (Photo:REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo)

Wagner PMC (Photo:REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo)

The United Kingdom has been forced to delay its plans to proscribe Wagner PMC as a terrorist organization as it is now under the full authority of the Russian military and is not a private army, The Times reported on July 30.

As such, proscribing Wagner PMC would mean that the U.K. would be directly proscribing a branch of the Russian state.

The legal case to formally proscribe the Russian mercenary group as a terrorist organization was launched in May. If approved, it would become a criminal offense to belong to Wagner, attend its meetings, encourage support for it, or carry its logo in public.

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This would place Wagner PMC on the same footing as other terrorist groups like Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

The Times reported that the British government suspects Wagner PMC of helping Russia to avoid sanctions imposed on the country’s oligarchs and the allies of dictator Vladimir Putin.

The Times said that the recent mutiny by Wagner PMC's leader Yevgeny Prigozhin has changed the legal basis of proscription as the mercenary's ties with the state came to light.

Putin acknowledged at a meeting with Russian military on June 27 that Russia fully funded Wagner PMC, despite previously denying its support.

The Times said that this statement transformed an already complicated legal case into a quagmire.

However, the U.K. is "still determined to find a way of proscribing the group," according to Minister of State for Security Tom Tugendhat, and Home Secretary Suella Braverman.

Prigozhin halted his one-day-long mutiny against Putin and the Russian Defense Ministry on June 24 following negotiations with the self-proclaimed president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko.

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