The European Union has tightened its unilateral sanctions on Syria, although they do not go as far as last month’s investment ban imposed by the USA.
The EU will buy no more Syrian oil, and the belief is more sanctions on banks, businesses and individuals will impose more restrictions on the country’s elite rather than on ordinary people.
“Yesterday we adopted new restrictive measures targeted to try and deprive the regime of its financial revenues. The purpose of that is to put the economic pressure on to achieve the political outcome, which is to stop the bloodshed, and help the people of Syria to achieve their legitimate aspirations,” said the EU’s Foreign Affairs boss Dame Catherine Ashton.
Russia’s foreign minister was quick to say sanctions would “bring no good”. Sergei Lavrov added both Russia and China remained opposed to any unilateral actions, although the international community and the UN appear ready to intervene more strongly faced with Bashar al-Assad’s continuing attacks on his own people.
While Syria’s oil industry is small it is a supplier to Germany and Italy, and several European oil firms work there.