The French parliament has passed a resolution to put the Russian paramilitary group Wagner on the list of terrorist organizations of the European Union. A qualitative political turning point in this gigantic standoff between Paris and Moscow around the increasingly growing influence of this instrument of war of Vladimir Putin in Ukraine, Africa and the Middle East.
French diplomacy was the first to denounce the serious violations of Wagner’s rules of war and to point the finger at his bloody interference in numerous regional conflicts.
Starting with Syria where Wagner is said to have committed terrible atrocities which have nothing to envy in terms of horror to that committed by Daesh, passing through Libya where Wagner’s Russians alongside Tayeb Erdogan’s Turkish forces have kept the country in chaos and instability, even in Ukraine where they are desperately trying to bend the military match to the benefit of Moscow without much success so far, but committing the worst atrocities, according to reports from international organizations.
Trying to put Wagner on the lists of terrorist organizations is not trivial. On the contrary, it is a decision of great symbolic political value. It will increase the thickness of the punitive arsenal against Vladimir Putin’s regime, which does not recognize the legal existence of Wagner’s mercenaries and uses them to carry out its dirty work and engage in a war of influence without thanks against international competitors to Russia like France.
If the plan to include Wagner in the list of terrorist organizations of the European Union is successful, it will challenge many perceptions and regional political alliances. For example, Wagner did not achieve his military objectives in certain African areas in such a dazzling manner without the aid and complicity of certain States in the region. In the zone of the Sahel where Wagner heavily settled, the role of facilitator played by the military regime of a country like Algeria is obvious.
Evidenced by the intimacy strategy that binds the two countries, Algeria and Russia, materialized by joint military maneuvers in this region against a backdrop of spectacular contracts for the purchase of Russian weapons by the Algerian army. It is moreover this particular situation between Algiers and Moscow which is at the origin of American anger and mistrust against the Algerian regime, an anger that goes so far as to imagine American and international sanctions against Algiers.
If tomorrow the Wagner group is officially put on the list of terrorist organizations of the EU, a major political element will intervene in the relations between France and Europe, on the one hand, and the Algerian regime, on the other hand.
The latter will be obliged to clarify his relations with the Wagner group, in particular, and with Vladimir Putin’s Russia, in general, so as not to be accused of complicity with a terrorist organization, by lending it aid and assistance and facilitating the conditions for its development in the Sahel region.
This decision to qualify Wagner as a terrorist organization will primarily challenge French President Emmanuel Macron’s vision of the Algerian regime. He will not be able to fight in international forums to try to weaken a Russian paramilitary organization whose military and influence strategy is a mortal danger for the vital interests of France in the Sahel region and at the same time turn a blind eye to the objective factors which provide structural support for the strengthening and domination of this organization.
One way or another, if this political project to put Wagner on the list of terrorist organizations, Emmanuel Macron’s vision of the Algerian regime will bear the full brunt of its political consequences. It seems certain that this sensitive point of the complicity of the Algerian soldiers with Wagner is at the heart of the security dialogue that the French maintain with the Algerian officials, in particular the military hierarchy as during the recent and unprecedented visit to Paris of the head of the army. Algerian Said Chengriha.
That Wagner is officially recognized as a terrorist organization, and all the countries which provide aid and assistance to him within the framework of the partnership with Moscow will be liable for complicity with international terrorism. They would automatically put themselves under the ban of nations and would become the objective allies of the terrorist threat hanging over certain regions where Wagner established himself.