Media: French parliament approves motion to list Wagner as terrorist organization

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France's National Assembly has approved a motion urging the French government and the EU to officially designate Russia's Wagner mercenary group as a terrorist organization, France 24 reported on May 9.

The Wagner mercenary group is currently involved in Russia's offensive operations in the east of Ukraine, fighting alongside the Russian regular army.

Wagner mercenaries have been accused of human rights abuses in Ukraine, Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic, Sudan, and Mozambique, including torture and extrajudicial killings.

"Wherever they work, Wagner members spread instability and violence," French lawmaker Benjamin Haddad said, as quoted by France 24.

"They kill and torture. They massacre and pillage. They intimidate and manipulate with almost total impunity," Haddad added.

The National Assembly's vote is symbolic and carries no legal weight.

On Feb. 6, the Ukrainian parliament recognized Wagner as an international criminal organization and called on foreign governments to do the same.

The U.S. Treasury Department designated Wagner Group mercenaries as a "significant transnational criminal organization" and imposed sanctions on its support network worldwide on Jan. 26.

The European Council sanctioned an additional 11 individuals and 7 entities linked to Wagner's crime both on the African continent and in Ukraine on Feb. 25.

Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin and his closest family members have already been put under financial sanctions by a number of countries, including the U.S. and Ukraine in 2022 and the U.K. in 2020.