A meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels agreed to roll over sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime until June 1, 2019 and also updated the bloc’s list of individuals subject to travel bans and asset freezes.
“Given the ongoing repression of the civilian population, the EU decided to maintain its restrictive measures against the Syrian regime and its supporters,” the 28 ministers stated in a press release issued after a meeting of the EU Council in Brussels.
The sanctions, which include a ban on entering EU territory and an asset freeze, now target 259 individuals and 67 entities.
The sanctions also include an oil embargo, restrictions on certain investments, a freeze of the assets of the Syrian Central Bank in the EU and restrictions on the export of equipment and technology liable to be used for internal repression or for monitoring or intercepting Internet and telephone communications.
The EU “remains committed to finding a lasting and credible political solution to the conflict in Syria,” the ministers stated.
n 2017 EU also imposed restrictions on Syrian officials who relate to the development an the use of chemical weapons in the country, with over 250 individuals targeted by the sanctions for the involvement in the development and use of chemical weapons against the civilian population.
Any new sanctions on Assad would build on a series of such EU measures since 2011, which range from an arms embargo and a ban on dealings with the Syrian central bank to travel bans and asset freezes on Syrian officials, military, business people and scientists accused of developing chemical weapons.