The European Union sanctioned Thursday senior aides to Russian President Vladimir Putin, including the man known as his chef, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and the owner of Wagner Group mercenary recruiter, over the poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny and Kremlin meddling in Libya.
The EU said Yevgeny Prigozhin, nicknamed “Putin’s chef” because his company has done catering for the Kremlin, was undermining peace in Libya by supporting the Wagner Group private military company.
Prigozhin, a wealthy tycoon close to Putin, is already under US sanctions over his links to the Wagner mercenary outfit, which has been accused of interfering in various conflicts around Africa.
In its official listing, the EU said Prigozhin had “close links, including financially, to the private military company Wagner Group”.
“In this way, Prigozhin is engaged in and providing support for Wagner Group’s activities in Libya, which threaten the country’s peace, stability and security.”
The EU said Wagner had committed “multiple and repeated breaches” of a UN arms embargo on Libya, where Russia has backed warlord Khalifa Haftar in his uprising against the internationally-recognized government.
The listing means Prigozhin is banned from travelling to the EU and any assets he holds in the bloc will be frozen. EU citizens and companies are also barred from supplying him with funds.