France Calls On EU To List Wagner As “Terrorist”

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Russia’s Wagner mercenaries/PHOTO COURTESY

BY ALJAZEERA

The French parliament has adopted a resolution calling on the European Union to formally label Russia’s mercenary Wagner force a “terror group” as reports emerged that the United Kingdom also appears poised to designate the group a “terror organization”.

The resolution on Tuesday, which is non-binding and largely symbolic, passed France’s parliament with unanimous support across the political spectrum.

“Wherever they work, Wagner members spread instability and violence,” French legislator Benjamin Haddad told parliament.

“They kill and torture. They massacre and pillage. They intimidate and manipulate with almost total impunity,” he said.

Wagner fighters are not simple mercenaries driven by an “appetite for money” but they “follow a broad strategy, from Mali to Ukraine, of supporting the aggressive policies of President [Vladimir] Putin’s regime towards our democracies”, he added.

Authorities in France have also blamed the group for running anti-French propaganda operations in West Africa, particularly in Mali.

Haddad said he hoped the resolution would encourage the 27 members of the EU to put Wagner on its official list of “terrorist organizations”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised the French parliament in a video message and urged other countries to follow France’s example.

“Special thanks to the French parliament for today’s decision to recognize the Russian pseudo-private Wagner group as a terrorist organization,” Zelenskky said.

“This is something that should be adopted by the entire world – every manifestation of terrorism must be destroyed, and every terrorist must be convicted,” he said.

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