‘PUTIN’S CHEF’ IN HOT WATER
The bipartisan leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday strongly urged the European Union to sanction a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin over what they say are ongoing efforts to interfere in U.S. elections.
In a letter to Stavros Lambrinidis, the head of the Delegation of the EU to the U.S., committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), ranking member Michael McCaul (R-Texas), and almost a dozen other committee members pressed for the EU to impose sanctions on Yevgeniy Prigozhin.
Prigozhin, who is known as “Putin’s chef” due to the Kremlin’s use of his catering service for official functions, was indicted by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller due to his efforts to interfere in the 2016 elections.
Prigozhin is the leader and main source of funding behind Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA), the troll farm that spread misinformation in the run up to 2016 U.S. presidential elections designed to favor the campaign of now President Trump. The IRA was also indicted by Mueller.
Prigozhin has been linked to the mercenary organization The Wagner Group, which was sanctioned by the U.S. due to its support of Russian forces in Ukraine.
“We must thwart his malign global activities done at Putin’s behest and ongoing efforts to interfere in the domestic politics of democracies on both sides of the Atlantic,” the House members wrote of Prigozhin. “By working together and coordinating our sanctions policies against common adversaries, we can present a united front that stands for our shared values and deters further Russian attempts to subvert Western democracy.”