The European Union on Monday extended its sanctions against the Assad regime in at least until June 1, 2018 due to ongoing killing of civilians.
The bloc said in a written statement that ”this decision is in line with the EU strategy on Syria, which states that the EU will maintain its restrictive measures against the Syrian regime and its supporters as long as the repression of civilians continues.”
The EU Council added three ministers to the list of people and entities targeted by an asset freeze and a ban on entering the EU or having relations with it. The list, which has as its first name that of Bashar al-Assad as the person responsible for authorizing and overseeing crackdowns on protestors, now includes the names of 240 people and 67 entities including the central bank, the state oil company and the interior and defense ministries.
According to the EU statement, sanctions include an embargo on trade and oil, restrictions on some types of investment, a freeze on EU-held assets of the Syrian central bank and a ban on exports of materials and technology that can be used for repression as well as telecommunications surveillance technology.
The EU stressed it remained committed to finding a lasting political solution to the conflict in Syria within the existing framework of UN accords.
The EU went on to reiterate its support for the work of the UN mediator and said that there can be no military solution to the conflict. It said that it will continue to support the delivery of humanitarian aid to all Syrians including those in difficult-to-reach areas and under siege.
On November 14, 2016, the EU imposed sanctions on 18 Assad regime officials for involvement in the violent crackdown on civilians since 2011. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)