Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell i Fontelles on behalf of the European Commission
The deployment of Wagner in Mali is a serious concern for the EU. The EU has sent several warnings to the Malian authorities both bilaterally1and through two EU-27 declarations2. On 13 December 2021, the Council imposed restrictive measures against the Wagner Group, targeting the Wagner Group itself, and eight individuals and three entities connected to it.
Up to now, the presence of Wagner in Mali does not have direct impact on the bilateral security cooperation between the EU and Mali: the two missions under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), which have a non-executive mandate, continue their training and advisory activities.
The EU remains committed to supporting the fight against terrorism in the Sahel region. The High Representative/Vice-President asked concrete guarantees from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mali that soldiers trained by the EU and equipment delivered by the EU must not be used by Wagner. Also, the two CSDP missions in Mali should be able to pursue their activities without security and reputational risk. Should the political and operational conditions for the implementation of the mandate of the EU Civilian mission (EUCAP Sahel Mali) and the EU Military training mission (EUTM Mali) not be met anymore, the EU is ready to take further decisions accordingly.
The operating budget of EUTM Mali amounts to EUR 133.7 million for the period 2020-2024 (EUR 46 million in 2021 and EUR 59 million for 2022). For EUCAP Sahel Mali, the operating budget amounts to EUR 81.41 million for the 2020-2022 period.