US to designate Wagner a transnational criminal organisation

© Alex Wong, Getty Images / AFP

The U.S. Treasury Department will impose additional sanctions on the Russian private military company, the Wagner Group, that has been aiding Russia's military in its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby announced Friday that Treasury will designate Wagner as a significant transnational criminal organization in the coming days. He said the designation will allow the administration to hit Wagner with tougher sanctions and squeeze its ability to do business around the world.

The White House also released images of Russia taking delivery of an arms shipment from North Korea that it said was intended to help bolster Wagner forces as they fight side-by-side with Russian troops in Ukraine. The Biden administration first accused North Korea last month of providing infantry rockets and missiles to Russia. North Korea has denied assisting Russia.

“These actions recognize the transcontinental threat that Wagner poses, including through its ongoing pattern of serious criminal activity with these actions, and there’ll be more to come,” Kirby said.

The U.S. government on Friday also released an image dated Nov. 18 that it said showed Russian rail cars traveling from Russia to North Korea. Kirby said the next day North Korea loaded those rail cars with shipping containers and the train returned to Russia.

(AP)


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