US-supported EU extends sanctions against Syrian government

The European Union has once again extended sanctions against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for another year. Sanctions prohibit oil imports, investments, and may help freeze Syrian Central Bank assets inside the EU. In addition, restrictive measures apply to the export of equipment and technology, which, according to the EU, can be used for “internal repression.” Such sanctions against the Syrian Republic were first introduced in 2011.

Why it matters: The Trump administration rallied its allies to maintain sanctions against the government of Bashar al-Assad, in order to prevent the provision of funds for the reconstruction of Damascus after nine years of civil war.

The United States claims that the money will be spent on “mafias identical to the Assad regime,” which Washington does not intend to reward for waging war against its own population in response to the Arab spring 2011 protests.

The combination of the negative factors of the war in the form of the spread of terrorist organizations and their activities, the capture of oil fields by the Americans, as well as sanctions pressure devastated the Syrian economy, which led to a humanitarian catastrophe. The country’s currency fell to a record low. According to Rome Turkmani, director of the Syrian Conflict Research Program at the London School of Economics, more than 80% of Syrians live below the poverty line, and a loaf of bread costs 20 times more than at the start of the conflict.

As you know, the United States is responsible for the At-Tanf refugee camp, where it impedes the supply of humanitarian assistance by the UN and the Red Cross. Under Washington’s control, humanitarian aid comes not to needy citizens, but to militants of terrorist organizations and their families. The EU provides humanitarian assistance in areas not controlled by government forces of the SAR.

What will happen next? Will international sanctions have any lasting political influence on the Syrian government? The United States and the EU continue to invoke UN Security Council resolution 2254, which calls for a peaceful transfer of power in Syria, a negotiated settlement of the war, and free and fair elections. However, supporting the imposition of sanctions and the conduct of destructive activities in the Middle East by sponsoring illegal armed groups and the occupation of oil fields, they themselves contradict and persistently hinder it.

According to the EU, which secured the support of Washington, the imposition of new sanctions will not allow the Syrian government to conduct, in their opinion, an illegal policy and distribution of funds, as well as facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance. The Trump administration, at the same time, does not show any signs of a change in course. Everything is obvious, Washington’s goal is to prevent Bashar al-Assad in achieving stabilization of the conflict, as well as the economic situation in the region.

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