The EU is gradually ratcheting up the pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with a raft of new sanctions.
Foreign ministers of the 27 member states have agreed to ban imports of Syrian oil in response to the ongoing violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in Syria. They have also extended sanctions against seven Syrian individuals and organisations. It is the first time measures have targeted the key oil sector.
The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Catherine Ashton said: “The 27 ambassadors on behalf of the ministers under our under chairmanship, have been looking at what more we can do in terms of the political and economic pressure on Syria. That’s a conversation that keeps going.”
But continuing violence suggests the measures have had little effect up to now. Analysts said they have had limited impact on Assad’s access to funds. At least 13 people are reported to have been killed by security forces in the latest bloodshed.