Rishi Sunak hints Britain could soon declare Russia’s vicious Wagner group a terror organization, as MPs showed unity in the House of Commons and vowed to help Ukraine defeat Vladimir Putin
- Rishi Sunak hints that Britain could declare the Wagner Group a terror organization
- PM tells MPs government continues to keep list of banned groups ‘under review’
- Renewed pledges of support for Ukraine from across the House of Commons during PMQs
Rishi Sunak hinted today that Britain could soon declare Russia’s vicious Wagner group a terror organization.
The prime minister told MPs that the government continues to keep its list of banned groups ‘pending’ as he faced calls to act against the mercenaries.
Tens of thousands of Wagner fighters are said to be currently part of the Russian assault on Ukraine.
Mr Sunak’s suggestion for further action against the group – led by Vladimir Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin – came as MPs showed unity with Ukraine.
Renewed pledges of support for Ukraine’s efforts to push back the Russian invasion force were made from all sides of the House of Commons during the prime minister’s questions.
They were made shortly before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made his own speech to Parliament on his surprise trip to the UK this afternoon.
Rishi Sunak hinted Britain could soon declare Russia’s vicious Wagner group a terror organization
Tens of thousands of Wagner mercenaries are currently said to be part of the Russian assault on Ukraine
Renewed pledges of support were made from all sides of the House of Commons for Ukraine’s efforts to push back the Russian invasion force
Sunak opened PMQs to express his delight that Zelensky was able to travel to Britain for the first time since Putin began his full-scale invasion attempt.
“It is proof of the unbreakable friendship between our two countries,” he told MPs.
“I am proud that we are expanding training for Ukrainian armed forces to include fighter jet pilots and marines, and ensure that Ukraine has an army capable of defending its interests now and in the future.”
The Prime Minister added that the UK and the House of Commons “can be proud that we have come together to stand by Ukraine when the moment mattered.”
In a session devoid of the usual partisan scoring, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said Parliament was ‘honoured’ to be addressed by Mr Zelensky today.
“From the beginning of the war he has symbolized the heroism, determination and courage of his people,” added Sir Keir.
“The Prime Minister and I came together in this House in 2015. We have lived through important moments in our domestic and international politics.
“But none of those experiences compare to the pain and suffering of the people of Ukraine.”
The Labor leader said it was ‘vital that we all stand together in full support’.
SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said all MPs in the House of Commons were “united in our condemnation of Vladimir Putin and our hopes for a better future for Ukraine”.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said it was “a source of great pride that the British people have stood firm, united and immovable in support of the brave heroes of Ukraine”.
But he pressed the prime minister on British measures against the Wagner Group.
“They do what Putin wants and commit atrocities against Ukrainians on a daily basis,” Sir Ed told Sunak.
“So, on this symbolic day, will the Prime Minister finally commit to prosecuting the Wagner Group – a critical part of treating Russia as the rogue state it is?”
Prohibition makes it a criminal offense to be a member, encourage support, or provide money to a banned group.
Such an action would put the Wagner Group in the same position as al-Qaeda or Islamic State.
In response to the Lib Dem leader, Mr. Sunak replied, “We have been at the forefront of sanctioning and taking action against those entities involved in the war effort in Russia and abroad from the beginning of this conflict.
“We have already sanctioned the Wagner Group as a whole and have also taken specific measures against certain leaders.
“As for the ban, it’s not something we routinely comment on publicly, but rest assured we’ll continue to review any bans we have.”