Britain is to ban Russian mercenary outfit the Wagner Group as a terrorist organisation, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed on Wednesday.
Draft measures to ban the Wagner Group under the act will be laid in parliament on Wednesday, the reports said.
Shapps said the measures will ban people in the UK from being “actively involved” in the group or displaying its logo.
This comes hours after British media reported that Home Secretary Suella Braverman was to make the Wagner Group a “proscribed” organisation under anti-terror laws, putting it on a par with Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
“Wagner is a violent and destructive organisation which has acted as a military tool of Vladimir Putin’s Russia overseas,” the Daily Mail quoted Braverman as saying.
“While Putin’s regime decides what to do with the monster it created, Wagner’s continuing destabilising activities only continue to serve the Kremlin’s political goals.”
Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the home secretary has the power to proscribe an organisation if they believe it is involved in terrorism.
“Wagner has been involved in looting, torture and barbarous murders,” Braverman added in the Daily Mail.
The group’s operations in Ukraine, the Middle East and Africa “are a threat to global security,” she said.
“That is why we are proscribing this terrorist organisation and continuing to aid Ukraine wherever we can in its fight against Russia.”
In July, Britain announced sanctions against 13 individuals and businesses it said had links to the Russian group in Africa, accusing it of crimes there including killings and torture.