Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Council of the European Union extends sanctions against Syrian regime for another year

Written by Eric Apim on Wednesday, June 1st 2022 à 11:40 | Read 401 times

The Council of the EU decides to continue to sanction those close to the Syrian regime (photo: European Union)
The Council of the EU decides to continue to sanction those close to the Syrian regime (photo: European Union)
SYRIA / EU. The Council of the European Union has decided to extend its restrictive measures against the Syrian regime by one year, until 1 June 2023.

The first sanctions were voted in May 2011 following the repression of the civilian population by the Syrian authorities, which continues. The decision of 30 May 2022 amends the one taken on 31 May 2013 and already modified on 27 May 2021.

These sanctions now apply to 359 persons or entities, three of whom have just been removed from the list by the Council of the EU (two of whom died and one of whom was removed following a ruling by the EU Court of First Instance on 16 March 2022). Eight businessmen were added in February 2020.

289 are subject to both a travel ban and an asset freeze and seventy only to an asset freeze.

Companies and businessmen linked to the regime are affected by these restrictive measures. They also include a ban on oil imports, restrictions on certain investments and a freeze on Central Bank of Syria assets held in the EU. In addition, there are restrictions on the export of equipment and technology that could be used for internal repression, as well as equipment and technology for monitoring or intercepting internet or telephone communications.

Sanctions do not impede humanitarian aid

On the other hand, and to avoid hindering the delivery of humanitarian aid, the EU allows the export of food, medicines and medical equipment.

According to an intervention by Martin Griffiths in September 2021 before the UN Security Council, 13.4 million people across the country need humanitarian aid to survive. The UN humanitarian chief noted that this figure was up 21% on the previous year and was the highest since 2017. "The reality is even more dire than the numbers can describe," Griffiths said. The poverty rate is close to 90% in Syria.

In May 2022, an EU-organised donors' conference for Syria in Brussels raised €6.7bn in donations, of which €4.8bn (€3.1bn from the European Commission and €1.7bn from Member States) came from the EU.

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