The European Union has banned oil imports from Syria. A statement issued by the EU Council on Friday said that the “gravity” of the political situation had forced the EU to tighten its sanctions against the country.
Unrest sparked in the Middle Eastern country from April earlier this year and the following government crackdown on protestors has caused the EU concern. The Council has already imposed an asset freeze and travel ban on those supporting the regime.
Catherine Ashton, Vice-President of the EU Commission said: “This step is a direct consequence of the appalling and unacceptable escalation of the brutal campaign the regime has been waging against the Syrian people, including by large-scale use of brute military force. Our measures are targeted at depriving the regime of financial revenues and the support base necessary for maintaining its violent repression.”
Europe receives most of Syria’s oil exports with Germany and Italy taking the lion’s share, which means that the latest EU ban could up the pressure on the Syrian government.