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Company in the heart of the EU accused of helping Wagner spy for Putin

Ukraine: Wagner Group defeat army unit named after Boris Johnson

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The Luxembourg government is suing a space company for possible violation of EU sanctions after it allegedly gave satellite imagery to the Russian “terrorist” organisation, Wagner group, local Luxembourg media outlets have claimed. The economic and foreign ministries are taking action for possible violations of EU laws after Spacety Luxembourg SA and its Chinese parent company were sanctioned by the US Treasury earlier this year for the same reason.

Spacety Luxembourg SA, based in the southwestern Belval area, specialises in small satellites and satellite-based services. It is alleged that Spacety’s satellite images were gathered to “enable Wagner combat operations in Ukraine”, according to the US Treasury.

The US Treasury announced it was clamping down on Russia, the Wagner group — headed by close Kremlin confidant, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, known as “Putin’s chef” — their associates, and other companies aiding the Russian military complex in a bid to impede Putin’s “war machine” in 2023.

Now, Luxembourg’s economic and foreign ministers are suing the company for possible violation of EU sanctions.

Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister, Jean Asselborn, and the Economic Minister, Franz Fayot, told RTL that they had approached the state prosecutor because Spacety Luxembourg is thought to have gone against “an EU sanction and the law of 27 June 2018 on export controls”.

However, Spacety vehemently denies the allegations it is linked to the mercenary group, stating it has “solemnly”, “strictly” and “fully” complied with sanctions against Russia.

In a statement, Spacety Luxembourg wrote that it has never made a deal, signed an agreement, nor had a commercial relationship with the Wagner group.

The statement, published on its website, read: “We have stopped all the commercial relationships or business with other Russian entities since the Russo-Ukrainian War started, and we have never participated in any form of military activities in support of the Russo-Ukrainian War and the Wagner Group.”

The Russian paramilitary organisation was described by the US Treasury Department as being involved in “Kremlin-backed combat operations around the world in support of Putin’s war in Ukraine”.

It was itself sanctioned as a “transnational criminal” group. Just this week, the Lithuanian parliament, the Seimas, labelled it a “terrorist organisation” because fighters now “pose a threat to state and public security”.

Since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war, the Wagner group is alleged to have committed “numerous crimes” including murdering and torturing civilians in the war-torn country.

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Institutions in Luxembourg that had partnered with Spacety Luxembourg have now cut ties. Both the University of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology have suspended working with the company.

The subsidiary’s contract with its offices in Belval have been terminated.

Spacety Luxembourg was set up in 2019. Luxembourg is renowned for its satellite and space activities with it being home to leading satellite operator SES S.A.

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