War on Wagner: France appeals for EU to declare mercenaries ‘terrorist organisation’

A billboard recruiting mercenaries for the Wagner group.

A billboard recruiting mercenaries for the Wagner group. Photo credit: Alexander Davronov / Wikimedia Commons

IN a bold move, France is urging the European Union to officially designate Russia’s notorious Wagner mercenary group as a ‘terrorist organisation’. In a groundbreaking resolution passed by the French parliament on Wednesday, May 10, lawmakers announced their deep concerns about Wagner.

Calling for the EU to change its stance, French lawmaker Benjamin Haddad explained that Wagner members are not an average mercenary group, but are involved in terrorist activity.

He described them as strategically advancing Putin’s aggressive policies, spreading violence, and engaging in heinous acts with impunity. Wagner’s anti-French propaganda campaigns in Africa, particularly in Mali, have raised serious alarm bells.

French officials say their stance aims to inspire all 27 EU members to list Wagner as a ‘terrorist organisation.’ This call has received high praise from Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, who endorses France’s decision and emphasised the importance of global unity in the face of terrorism.

Following France’s lead, the United Kingdom has also announced its intention to take action against Wagner and also designate it as a terrorist organisation. The UK Home Office has been building a case against the group, with plans to make it a criminal offence to support or associate with Wagner on British soil. The UK also says its efforts aim to to combat Wagner’s reign of terror.

Several governments in Europe have also already taken action with the Estonian and Lithuanian parliaments also labelling the Wagner group a ‘terrorist organisation’.

This coordinated and resolute campaign against Wagner signifies a significant turning point in the global fight against terrorism, with France at the forefront.

If the EU designates Wagner as a terrorist organisation, it would have significant effects for the group. It would lead to asset freezes, travel bans, financial restrictions, and develop stronger intelligence sharing among member states.

Wagner members could also face criminal charges, arrests, and potential extradition. This designation would serve as a strong deterrent and send a clear message that the Wagner group’s actions would not be tolerated. It would unite EU efforts in combatting terrorism and contribute to global security.

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