BRUSSELS, June 23 (RIA Novosti) - The European Council decided Monday to reinforce EU restrictive measures against the Syrian government by targeting 12 ministers accused of human rights violations, with an asset freeze and travel ban, according to an EC communiqué.
“In view of the gravity of the situation in Syria, the Council today reinforced EU restrictive measures against the Syrian regime. The Council has decided to target 12 ministers of the Syrian government with an asset freeze and a travel ban, given their responsibility for serious human rights violations.” the communiqué said.
The list of those targeted by the new sanctions is to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union on Tuesday. The restrictive measures are to go into force on the day of the publication.
The latest expansion of the list brings the total number of Syrian officials targeted by the EU sanctions to 191. Additionally, the assets of 53 enterprises, including the Syrian Central Bank have been frozen.
The first sanctions against the Syrian government, including a number of export and import bans, as well as restrictions related to financial activity, investments and the transportation sector were unveiled by the European Council in May 2013.
The measures were initially expected to apply until June 1, 2014, but have recently been extended to June 1, 2015.