The US Treasury Department will designate the Russian mercenary organization the Russian private military company “Wagner Group” as a “transnational criminal organization” and will impose additional sanctions next week against the group and its support network across the world, the White House said on Friday.
The US National Security Council’s (NSC) Coordinator for Strategic Communication John Kirby told reporters at a press briefing on Friday that in last December, the US Department of Commerce designated Wagner as a military end user, which means we expanded the entity listing of Wagner to ensure that it cannot access equipment anywhere in the world based on US technology or production equipment.
“Today, we are announcing additional actions that we are taking to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian invasion forces. First, the Department of Treasury will be designating Wagner as a significant transnational criminal organization under executive order 13581 as amended.” Kirby said on Friday.
The US ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, said earlier that Washington was aware of reports about the transfer of mercenaries from Libya to Ukraine to fight for Russia, as well as reports of Moscow’s attempts to recruit foreign fighters against Kyiv.
Wagner’s mercenaries are stationed in Libya in the Oil Crescent region, where energy sources are located, and they are considered the main supporter of Haftar in his aggression against Tripoli in 2019 and the wars he fought over the past years.