Now that Prigozhin ended mutiny, US sanctions to take their course
The United States imposes sanctions on the military group for conducting financial operations in several countries to fund their activities.
The United States sanctioned four companies on Tuesday for "illicit gold dealing" and one individual for making “weapons deals” with the alleged aim of funding PMC Wanger.
The announcement of the sanctions comes days after the short-lived mutiny led by the head of the mercenary group’s leader, Yevegny Prigozhin.
The US Treasury claimed that the companies, located in Russia, the UAE, and Central African Republic, “have engaged in illicit gold dealings to fund the Wagner Group to sustain and expand its armed forces, including in Ukraine and Africa.”
As for the individual, the Treasury named Andrey Nikolayevich Ivanov, a Wagner executive who “worked closely with Prigozhin’s entity Africa Politology and senior Malian government officials on weapons deals, mining concerns, and other Wagner Group activities in Mali."
“The Wagner Group funds its brutal operations in part by exploiting natural resources in countries like the Central African Republic and Mali. The United States will continue to target the Wagner Group’s revenue streams to degrade its expansion and violence in Africa, Ukraine, and anywhere else,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement.
“Death and destruction has followed in Wagner’s wake everywhere it has operated, and the United States will continue to take actions to hold it accountable,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken added in a separate statement.
The State Department also announced plans for extra sanctions on the private military group, stating on Tuesday that the United States will "hold [Wagner Group] accountable, and in fact, we will have further announcements to make on holding Wagner accountable in the very near future."
However, American sanctions on Wagner came only after a failed US bet that the group led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, who staged an armed mutiny attempt last week and started a march to Moscow, would be successful in dragging Russia into an internal turmoil that could snowball into a "civil war", as described by Western media.
The Wall Street Journal reported, following the rebellion attempt, that the US delayed sanctions on PMC Wagner over fears that Washington might appear to be on Russian President Vladimir Putin's side.
Russia's Foreign Ministry released a statement on Saturday as a warning to the West against any attempts to use the ongoing armed mutiny situation in Russia for their own purposes.
The Ministry stressed that Russian society has rejected the armed mutiny with "the adventurist efforts of the conspirators essentially aimed at destabilizing the situation in Russia, undermining its unity and efforts to ensure international security."