Topic: Protests in Syria
- EU Calls For Syria Political Transition Without Assad
- Moscow Calls on U.S., EU to Lift Sanctions against Syria
- EU Tightens Syria Sanctions As Violence Surges
- US Increases Sanctions on Iran
- Russia to Oppose UN Sanctions against Syria – Diplomat
BRUSSELS, February 19 (RIA Novosti) – European Union foreign ministers have agreed to keep current sanctions against Syria in place for another three months and pledged to continue EU humanitarian aid to the war-torn country.
“We…agreed to extend sanctions against Syria for a further three months and we are amending them so as to enable greater non-lethal support and technical assistance for the protection of civilians,” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in comments for the press on Monday following a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council.
“We will continue our help to the innocent victims of the conflict,” Ashton said, adding that EU humanitarian aid currently stands at 600 million euros.
According to latest UN estimates, at least 70,000 people have been killed and more than 700,000 have been forced to flee Syria since the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime began in March 2011.
The EU, Syria's biggest trading partner, imposed economic sanctions against Assad's regime in 2011.
The sanctions include an arms exports embargo as well as travel bans and asset freezes on more than 120 individuals and 40 companies.
The EU has also banned crude oil imports from Syria and has blocked trade in gold, precious metals and diamonds with Syrian public bodies and the central bank.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.