MEPs have passed a resolution condemning human rights abuses by private military companies. They focused on the Wagner group, its actions in Ukraine and its ties with Russia. This was reported by the press service of the European Parliament.
The November 25 resolution was supported by 585 MEPs, 40 opposed and 43 abstained. The MPs condemned the crimes of PMC Wagner and the military structures affiliated with it.
The resolution expressed concern over violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. The document focuses on “the Wagner Group and associated private military organizations”. It points to evidence of torture, extrajudicial executions, sexual violence, looting and mineral grabs in developing countries.
“The European Parliament points to strong evidence that the Russian state is responsible for the financing, training, leadership and operational command of these paramilitary groups,” the resolution said. MEPs are convinced that the Wagner PMC should be seen as an “agent of the Russian state”.
The resolution notes that the Wagnerians are present in conflicts around the world: in Ukraine, Syria, Sudan, Mozambique, Libya, the Central African Republic and Venezuela. The MPs support the imposition of sanctions against people and organizations associated with the Wagner PMC. A ban on entry into the EU and the freezing of the mercenaries’ assets are also proposed.
The European Parliament is calling on all countries to sever ties with the Wagnerians, and the European Commission is being asked to ensure that EU money does not flow to countries that finance the private military company.
The resolution recalls that the Wagner PMC first came to light in 2014 because of its involvement in the fighting in Donbas and in the annexation of Crimea. “In the context of Russian aggression against Ukraine, the use of PMCs such as the Wagner Group,” E.N.O.T. Corp, cossacks and others may be aimed at concealing military interventions, avoiding casualties among regular troops and, consequently, hiding human military aggression from the Russian public,” the resolution says.
The European Parliament “calls on the Russian authorities to withdraw all mercenaries from eastern Ukraine and Crimea”. The MEPs also expressed support for “the efforts of the Ukrainian authorities to bring to justice the members of the Wagner group who acted in Crimea and Donbas”.