Shafaq News / Britain is set to declare the Russian mercenary Wagner Group to be a terrorist organisation, making it illegal to be a member or to support it, the government said on Wednesday.
A draft order due to laid before parliament will allow Wagner's assets to be categorised as terrorist property and seized, the interior ministry said in a statement.
Interior minister Suella Braverman described Wagner as "violent and destructive". It had acted as "a military tool of Vladimir Putin's Russia overseas," she said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wagner did not exist from a legal point of view.
"There's nothing to comment on," he said when asked about the measure.
Across Ukraine, the Middle East and Africa, Wagner has been involved in looting, torture and "barbarous murders", the British statement said, calling it a threat to global security.
The order is expected to come into force on Sept. 13, after which it would be a criminal offence to belong to or promote the group, arrange or address its meetings and carry its logo in public, punishable by up to 14 years in jail.
David Lammy, the opposition Labour Party's foreign affairs spokesman, said the move was "long overdue". The government should now press for Putin to be prosecuted for his aggression, he said.