Wagner PMC founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Thursday, December 1, that the United States had no legal basis for recognising his company as a foreign terrorist organisation. He suggested that America should in fact be the one to instead recognise itself as such.
He was responding to a question posted by a journalist from Vedomosti. She asked: “Good afternoon. My name is Anya Vergazova, I am a correspondent of the Vedomosti newspaper. Yesterday, there was information in the media that the U.S. authorities were considering the possibility of officially recognizing the Wagner PMC as a terrorist organisation”.
She added: “What is the reaction of the Wagner PMC to this? How will it change the position of the organisation? What would be Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin’s comment on the U.S. plans?”.
His reply, via the official Concord Telegram channel read: “I will answer you as a specialist in the field of counterterrorism. Wagner PMC in any of its actions strictly defends the interests of Russia, while respecting all norms of morality. What is the Wagner PMC known for?”.
” • Wagner PMC stopped the genocide of the Russian population in the Donbass in 2014.
• Wagner PMC defeated ISIS in Syria in 2015-2017.
• Wagner PMC prevented terrorists, financed by France and the U.S., from staging a coup in the CAR in 2013, when tens of thousands of civilians were killed.
• Wagner PMC has destroyed thousands of terrorists of ISIS, al-Qaida, Katib Masina in the Sahel”.
“In addition, the specialists of Prigozhin’s media empire provided tough resistance to U.S. interference in the elections of Russia and other countries. In doing so, put the U.S. to bed with their own tools, playing by their own rules”.
“To set the record straight, Prigozhin’s lawyers proved that there was no interference in the US election on November 8, 2016 and brilliantly won a trial on this issue in the US District of Columbia, on the field of the enemy with their own sword. The court’s decision was a complete dismissal of the criminal case with a ban on any attempt to reopen it”.
“As for the criteria for classifying an organisation as a terrorist (according to the U.S. regulation), there are three points and nine subparagraphs, detailing who is a terrorist. PMC Wagner does not fall under any of these criteria. However, the activities of the U.S. fully fits under them”.
“Conclusions: Wagner PMC has always defended the interests of Russia, Russians abroad, citizens of the Russian Federation, Russia’s partners in all countries and on all continents, has always fought terrorism, banditry, violation of rights, and freedoms of citizens. And will continue to do so under any circumstances”.
The reason behind the journalists question was that On November 29, Bloomberg, citing sources, reported that the administration of US President Joe Biden was considering listing Wagner as a foreign terrorist organization on the State Department ‘s list of foreign terrorist organisations.
According to the publication’s sources, the reason for the discussion was the significant role that the ‘Wagnerites’ play in the military conflict in Ukraine, and their increased influence in Africa.
The United States, recognising the organisation as a terrorist organisation, declared its right to prosecute its members and monitor the group’s international assets around the world.
The list, published on the website of the US Foreign Ministry, included about 70 organisations. Among them were Al-Qaeda, the Colombian FARC, the African Boko Haram, various units of the Islamic State, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), branches of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), Hezbollah , and Hamas.
To list an organisation as a foreign terrorist organisation, the State Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau prepared a detailed report, gathering open source information and intelligence to confirm that a suspected group meets terrorist criteria.
It stated: “The organisation must be, firstly, foreign; second, is involved in terrorism as defined by US law; thirdly, the terrorist activities of the organisation must threaten the security of US citizens or pose a threat to national security”.
American individuals and legal entities do not have the right to help foreign terrorist organisations; members of such groups are expelled from the United States, they are not allowed to enter the country. US financial institutions must freeze the funds of declared terrorists in their accounts”. it added, as reported by gazeta.ru.
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