The US Treasury Department on Tuesday imposed sanctions on 4 companies concerned in “gold dealing” and one individual they are saying made “weapons deals” tied to the Wagner Group.
The announcement of the sanctions comes days after the short-lived mutiny led by the top of the mercenary group’s chief, Yevegny Prigozhin.
They goal companies in Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and the Central African Republic that “have engaged in illicit gold dealings to fund the Wagner Group to sustain and expand its armed forces, including in Ukraine and Africa.”
The focused individual, Andrey Nikolayevich Ivanov, is a Russian govt within the Wagner Group 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,” in accordance to a Treasury Department launch.
“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 mentioned in a press release.
“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 mentioned in a separate assertion.
Last month, the US Treasury Department sanctioned Ivan Maslov, the top of the Wagner group in Mali, the place the company accused the Wagner group of “attempting to obscure its efforts to acquire military equipment for use in Ukraine.”
“The United States opposes efforts by any country to assist Russia through the Wagner Group,” the Treasury Department added.
Prigozhin, the top of the Wagner Group and previously a long-time ally of Putin, over the weekend launched a sudden revolt in opposition to Russia’s army management, seizing management of a southern army headquarters and directing his troops towards Moscow. The revolt was short-lived, and on Saturday he pulled again his troops and accepted a deal brokered by Belarussian strongman chief Alexander Lukashenko. Prigozhin arrived in Belarus from Russia on Tuesday, in accordance to Lukashenko.
“The decision by President Lukashenko to welcome Prigozhin to Belarus, I think, is another example of him choosing the interests of Vladimir Putin and choosing the interests of the Kremlin over the interests of the Belarusian people,” mentioned State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller at a press briefing Tuesday.