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EU – Foreign Affairs Council – Syria: partial waiver of oil embargo for opposition

In a show of support for the struggle against the Assad regime, the European foreign ministers approved a partial waiver of the embargo on Syrian oil. European firms will be allowed to import the portion sold by the opposition, which may also be supplied the equipment necessary to extract it. This was established by the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg, where Italy was represented by Deputy Minister Marta Dassù. The Council also authorized European investments in the sector. The decision was endorsed last week at permanent mission level.

Some sanctions loosened to aid civilians and support opposition

The Council loosened some EU sanctions against, including the oil embargo, in order to aid the civilian population and support the opposition. Member States now have authorisation for three types of transaction: the importation of oil and oil products, the exportation of equipment and technologies key to the oil and gas industry in Syria and investments in the Syrian oil sector”.

Before approving such operations, the competent authorities will be obliged to consult the National Opposition Coalition and be guaranteed that such transactions do not run counter to current EU sanctions on Syria, particularly as regards the freezing of the assets of anyone associated with the violent repression in Syria.