A senior European source in Brussels on Thursday announced that the Council of the European Union, at the level of foreign ministers, intends to expand the list of sanctions against the Assad regime at its meeting on January 21.
The source said that 11 people and five organizations will be added to the black European list against the Assad regime.
“It is expected that the list of sanctions against Syria will be renewed,” the source said, speaking ahead of a meeting of foreign ministers of the 28 EU member states.
The source declined to name the individuals and institutions to be covered by the new sanctions. “The names will be published in the official magazine of the European Union, after a formal decision was made on Monday,” the source said.
“The names will be added to the black list for the first time under a new regime of sanctions against producers and users of chemical weapons in Syria,” the source told reporters.
According to the Russian Tass news agency, the remarks by the representative of the Council of the European Union is a confirmation of a decision taken by the ambassadors of the Union to slam sanctions against four officers of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (GRU).
The GRU officers who will be sanctioned will include Aleksandr Petrov who were found responsible for carrying out chemical attacks, including the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Britain in 2018.
The listing, which also includes five Syrian citizens, are part of a new sanctions regime approved by the EU in October 2018. It allows the bloc to impose asset freezes and visa bans on people and entities for the development and use of chemical weapons regardless of their nationality and location.
The EU sanctions package, which were consistently strengthened between 2011 and 2014, is one of the most important sanctions in the history of the European Union. It includes a ban on of all types of European commercial activity with the Assad regime, especially the trade in oil and petroleum products.
Senior Assad regime officials are also on the EU’s long black list, including head of the regime Bashar al-Assad and the majority of his family members and relatives. The EU has also imposed complete ban on financial transactions with the Assad regime. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)