The EU Council has decided to impose an asset freeze and travel ban on 4 high-ranking Syrian military officials, who allegedly played a role in the use of chemical weapons against the civilian population in Syria. The additions bring the total number of people listed on the sanctions to 239, in addition to 67 entities. See Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/480 implementing Regulation 36/2012 and Implementing Decision 2017/485 implementing Decision 2013/255/CFSP.
The EU has decided to renew its asset freezing measures and travel bans on people and entities said to be involved in undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity (and related criteria) for a further 6 months, until 15 September 2017. The EU has also removed 2 deceased people from its listings bringing the total to 150 people and 37 entities listed on these measures.
The EU has informed the Democratic Republic of Congo that it is ready to impose new targeted sanctions in response to the serious human rights violations that have recently occurred in the country, the refusal of President Joseph Kabila to stand down at the end of his term, and the general blockage of the December 2016 political agreement. The Council has invited the High Representative to initiate work on new measures which would target those responsible for the human rights violations or incitements to violence, and those obstructing a consensual and peaceful solution to the crisis in DRC. The Council’s press release is here.
The EU has renewed its asset freezes relating to people identified as being responsible for misappropriating Ukrainian state funds for 1 year, following its annual review. They were first introduced in March 2014. See Implementing Regulation 2017/374 implementing Regulation 208/2014 and Decision 2017/381 amending Decision 2014/119/CFSP.
The EU has renewed its remaining sanctions against Belarus for 1 year, until 28 February 2018. The sanctions include an arms embargo, and a travel ban and asset freeze on 4 people listed in connection with the disappearances of 2 opposition politicians, 1 businessman, and 1 journalist in 1999/2000. Renewing the measures, the EU Council reiterated that “tangible steps taken by Belarus to respect universal fundamental freedoms, rule of law, and human rights” will be key to the future of EU policy towards the country. In February 2016, the EU lifted most of its sanctions against Belarus (see previous blog).
The EU has implemented the sanctions on North Korea / DPRK that the UN Security Council imposed in November last year (see previous blog). These new sanctions include a cap on imports of coal from North Korea, a ban on imports of statues and several metals from North Korea, and a ban on exporting new helicopters and vessels to North Korea. They also tighten existing restrictions on North Korea, including by limiting North Korean diplomats to only one bank account in the EU, and requiring Member States to take further measures to prevent specialised nuclear or missile-related teaching being provided to North Koreans.
The EU has renewed the listings of the 7 people and 1 entity targeted by its Zimbabwe sanctions for a further year, until 20 February 2018. Currently the sanctions are suspended in respect of all listed people and entities except for Robert Mugabe, Grace Mugabe, and Zimbabwe Defence Industries. See Council Decision 2017/288 amending Council Decision 2011/101/CFSP and the EU’s notices here and here.
It has also introduced an exception to its arms embargo on Zimbabwe, allowing for the export of certain explosive substances where they are solely for use in Zimbabwe’s civilian mining and infrastructure projects. See Council Regulation 2017/284 amending Council Regulation 314/2004 and Council Decision 2017/288 amending Council Decision 2011/101/CFSP.
The EU has published a notice for the attention of Mohamed and Amir Garrana, both listed on its sanctions against those said to have misappropriated Egyptian state funds, informing them that it holds new information on file concerning them. They may write to the Council to obtain the information relating to them before 13 February 2017.