EU renews targeted Libya sanctions for 6 months

The EU has decided to renew its targeted sanctions on Libya for 6 months. They target 3 people – Agila Saleh, president of Libya’s legislature the House of Representatives, and Khalifa Ghweil and Nuri Abu Sahmain, Prime Minister and President of the General National Congress. They are listed for “obstructing the implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement…and the formation of a Government of National Accord”. See Council Decision 2017/1776 amending Council Decision 2015/1333.

EU implements new UN sanctions regime on Mali

The EU has implemented UN Resolution 2374, which allows for sanctions to be imposed on those actively undermining the implementation of Mali’s peace agreement or threatening the country’s peace, security, or stability (see previous blog). Designations will be made by the UN Security Council or its Sanctions Committee on Mali, for actions including attacks against Mali’s institutions and security forces, human rights abuses, and the use of children by armed groups. No one is currently listed under the sanctions.

See Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/1775.

US designates banks linked to DPRK financial networks

OFAC has sanctioned 26 people linked to DPRK financial networks and 8 DPRK banks, in response to what the US has described as its ongoing violations of UN Resolutions and attempts to develop WMDs.  The 26 people are all DPRK nationals working in China, Russia, Libya, and the UAE as representatives of DPRK banks. OFAC identified the Foreign Trade Bank and Central Bank of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as part of the Government of North Korea. Foreign Trade Bank was already designated by the US, and Central Bank is now also subject to US sanctions.

The US Treasury’s press release says that the new listings are intended to complement the latest round of UN sanctions (see previous blog). The details of the listings are here.

China implements UN sanctions on North Korea; Taiwan bans all trade

China has announced that it will begin to implement the most recent round of UN sanctions on North Korea (see previous blog).  In a statement, China’s ministry of Commerce said that all exports of condensates and natural gas liquids to North Korea would be banned immediately, and from 1 October exports of refined petroleum products to North Korea would also be limited.  Imports of North Korean textiles will also be banned immediately, with an exception for contracts signed before 11 September where import procedures are completed before 10 December.

Separately, Taiwan has decided to ban all trade with North Korea in order to comply with the latest UN sanctions, although it is not a member of the UN itself.

Australia renews Russia sanctions

Australia has renewed its sanctions against people and entities said to be threatening the territorial integrity of Ukraine for 3 years, or until Russia fulfils its obligations set out in the Minsk Peace Agreements. There are 153 people and 48 entities targeted by these measures.

EU threatens to “block” US sanctions on Iran if reimposed

The EU’s ambassador to the US has warned President Trump’s administration that the EU is prepared to block US sanctions on Iran if the US pulls out of the JCPOA nuclear deal.  Under the EU’s “blocking regulation”, EU-based companies may be prohibited from complying with extraterritorial US sanctions in certain circumstances, effectively giving them legal protection from the sanctions. Since it was introduced in 1996, the highest profile use of the blocking regulation has been to prohibit EU companies from complying with US sanctions on Cuba.

President Trump is due to confirm to Congress whether Iran is complying with its obligations under the JCPOA by 15 October.

Canada sanctions 40 Venezuelans

Canada, like the USA, has imposed sanctions on senior Venezuelan officials and supporters of the Venezuelan government (see previous blog). The listings target 40 people, including President Nicolas Maduro, members of his cabinet, and members of Venezuela’s Supreme Court.  Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland echoed the US description of Venezuela as a “dictatorship”, and said that it was “important to send a signal to the leaders of the Maduro regime that their actions are unacceptable”.

Trump adds countries to travel ban & removes time-limit

President Trump has extended his travel ban to block most citizens from North Korea and Chad and government officials from Venezuela and their families from travelling to the US.  They join Iran, Libya, Syria, and Yemen on the list, but Sudan has been removed and citizens from Iraq will only face extra scrutiny as opposed to an effective ban.  In addition, the travel bans no longer have an expiry date. The White House’s press release is here.