U.S. urges EU to impose sanctions on ‘Putin’s Chef’
Senate senior minority leader Chuck Schumer and four other senators have asked the European Union to impose sanctions on Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin because his of involvement in the meddling in the upcoming presidential election, the Foreign Relations Committee said in a statement.
The senators accused the businessman and his companies of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
"As the presidential election in the United States draws closer, our concerns about foreign interference here have intensified. These threats, however, are not limited to the United States — given the broad reach and expanding nature of Prigozhin and the Wagner Group’s malign activities abroad, we urge the European Union to take steps to constrain their ability to operate and to deter the Kremlin from engaging in these activities," the senators said.
In their opinion, the United States and the European Union should unite in the fight against the "common threat" and take the necessary actions against the businessman and his companies.
In September, Bloomberg reported that 100 Russian mercenaries from Wagner Private Military Company had arrived in Libya to take part in the offensive by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar's forces. Representatives of Haftar and the Russian Foreign Ministry denied these reports. Wagner's group was previously linked to Prigozhin, but he denied any involvement in it.
Last October, Facebook shut down accounts affiliated with Prigozhin aimed at destabilizing African countries. The social media giant claimed that through them unknown people tried to interfere in domestic politics in the Central African Republic, Mozambique, Sudan and Libya.
In February 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted Prigozhin and 12 other Russians, including employees of the Internet Research Agency, Concord Management and Concord Catering, on charges of interference in the US presidential election.
US special prosecutor Robert Mueller stated in his report that the defendants participated in the establishing fake social media accounts to spread fake information in support of Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
A lawyer for Concord Management said in a Washington court that the company was not involved in the election meddling. Prigozhin also previously said that the companies under his control are not involved in such activities.