The Council decided to add the Wagner Group and RIA FAN to the list of those subject to EU restrictive measures for actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.
This decision completes the ‘Wagner package’ adopted on 25 February and underscores the international dimension and gravity of the group’s activities, as well as its destabilising impact on the countries where it is active.
The Wagner Group – already subject to EU sanctions under the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime – is a Russia-based unincorporated private military entity established in 2014, which is led by Dimitriy Utkin and financed by Yevgeniy Prigozhin. The Wagner Group is actively participating in the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and spearheaded the attacks against the Ukrainian towns of Soledar and Bakhmut.
RIA FAN is part of the Patriot Media Group, a Russian media organisation whose Board of Trustees is headed by Yevgeniy Prigozhin. The news agency is involved in pro-government propaganda and disinformation on Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
Altogether, EU restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine now apply to a total of 1 473 individuals and 207 entities. Those designated are subject to an asset freeze and EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to them.
In the European Council conclusions of 23 March 2023, the EU reiterated its resolute condemnation of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which constitutes a manifest violation of the UN Charter, and recalled its unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and its inherent right of self-defence against the Russian aggression.
Russia must stop its aggression and immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces and proxies from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.
The EU stands firmly and fully with Ukraine and will continue to provide strong political, economic, military, financial and humanitarian support to Ukraine and its people for as long as it takes.
More information: European Council