Two US senators have drafted a bill which requires the US State Department to brand PMC Wagner, a Russian mercenary group, as a foreign terrorist organisation. The bill was submitted by Roger Wicker (Republican, Mississippi) and Ben Cardin (Democrat, Maryland), says the announcement made on Wicker’s website.
The US House of Representatives will also consider a similar proposal tabled by Democrats Steve Cohen and Marc Veasey as well as Republicans Joe Wilson and Richard Hudson.
Roger Wicker. Photo: the senator's Twitter
“[Russian President] Vladimir Putin and his cronies will stop at nothing to accomplish their objectives, including employing mercenaries like the Wagner Group to commit atrocities on their behalf,” noted Senator Wicker.
The bill also contains provisions to designate any structures affiliated with PMC Wagner or its successor entities as foreign terrorist organisations.
“As Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine enters its ninth month, the United States must continue to remove the tools of destruction at its disposal,” Senator Cardin said.
By recognising an organisation as terrorist, the US gain instruments to prosecute its members and track its international assets all over the world.
On 30 November, Bloomberg reported that the Biden administration is looking into whether PMC Wagner should be designated as a foreign terrorist organisation. According to the news agency, the White House was still yet to make a final decision on the issue.