US to delay Wagner sanctions for fear of siding with Putin: WSJ
The State Department was expected to reveal additional sanctions on Wagner's alleged gold business in Africa on Tuesday.
The US is reportedly planning to delay new sanctions on the Wagner group after its leader Yevgeni Prigozhin announced on his Telegram channel storming the Rostov region and taking over the military headquarters in response to what he claims was a Russian attack on his troops earlier under the orders of the Defense Ministry.
According to individuals close to the matter, the US is wary of appearing to be on the Russian President's side, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“Washington does not want to appear to be taking sides in this,” WSJ cited a close source as saying.
According to these sources, the State Department was expected to disclose additional sanctions on Wagner's gold business in Africa on Tuesday, including an alleged mining operation set up by the firm in the Central African Republic.
Washington had previously sanctioned the group for its alleged role in misinformation efforts, particularly during the 2016 US presidential election, which was never proven, as well as its involvement in the Ukrainian war, but the Biden administration planned to tighten the screws on its international commercial empire.
Cameron Hudson, a former chief of staff to the US special envoy for Sudan, stated that Washington had a strategy to "target, isolate, and weaken Wagner's growth in Africa," adding that by maintaining that approach, Washington is now potentially assisting Putin.
The Russian 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."
The Foreign Ministry continued to express confidence that a resolution is near, maintaining that the objectives of the military operation in Ukraine will not be affected and will be achieved.