The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Thursday announced sanctions against eight individuals, 16 entities and four aircraft affiliated with “transnational criminal organization” the Wagner Group (PMC Wagner).In order to undermine Russia’s capacity to wage war against Ukraine, the sanctions target entities that support PMC Wagner and the production of Russian weapons and battlefield operations against Ukraine.PMC Wagner is a private military company based in Russia, with ties to Putin. According to the OFAC, the organization has been involved in combat operations supporting the war on Ukraine and has committed human rights abuses in Africa. Wagner Group personnel have also been accused of engaging in serious criminal activity, including mass executions, rape, child abductions, and physical abuse in the Central African Republic and Mali. PMC Wagner will be redesignated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13581, as being a “foreign person that constitutes a significant transnational criminal organization.”Speaking on the announcement, Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen noted:As sanctions and export controls on Russia from our international coalition continue to bite, the Kremlin is desperately searching for arms and support – including through the brutal Wagner Group – to continue its unjust war against Ukraine […] Today’s expanded sanctions on Wagner, as well as new sanctions on their associates and other companies enabling the Russian military complex, will further impede Putin’s ability to arm and equip his war machine.All property and interests of those sanctioned individuals located in the US must be reported to OFAC, and transactions involving these individuals are prohibited unless exempt or authorised by OFAC.
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