After a delay due to procedural matters EU will impose new sanctions as of 24 September on the Syrian regime. The sanction bans investments in the Syrian oil industry. Two more individuals and six entities have been added. The information I have points to two members of the cabinet. The six entities are most probably the state controlled Syrian oil company and other state companies involved in refining and transport of oil.
But the big surprise is the sanctions targeting delivery if banknotes and coins to the Syrian Central Bank. Yes, Syria prints a load of its cash in the EU. No more. Syria is a cashed based society. With the effect of blocked credit and debit cards after the U.S sanctions this move will certainly further strangle the Syrian economy.
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today: “In view of the continuing brutal campaign by the Syrian regime against its own population, the European Union today decided to adopt additional sanctions against the Syrian regime. I have said repeatedly that the regime’s repression against the Syrian people must stop completely, that detained protestors must be released immediately and that a genuine and inclusive national dialogue must be launched in Syria without delay.
So far, the Syrian regime has resisted urgent calls from the European Union as well as the international community to take such steps. Therefore additional measures are necessary.
The additional sanctions that the EU has adopted against the Syrian regime today include an investment ban in the Syrian oil sector. This adds to the earlier decision taken on 2 September to impose an EU ban on the import of crude oil from Syria. Today’s decision also foresees a prohibition on the delivery of banknotes to the Syrian Central Bank and the inclusion of additional persons and entities responsible for or supporting the repression in Syria to the list of those subject to a travel ban and asset freeze.
The EU continues to aim at putting an end to the repression and assisting the Syrian people to achieve their legitimate aspirations. The EU restrictive measures are designed to have maximum impact on the Syrian regime, while minimizing any potential negative impacts on the Syrian population. This is done by carefully targeting those individuals and entities which benefit from or support the regime. The EU will consider further measures in the light of developments.”