EU ministers authorize sanctions for chemical weapons use worldwide

European Union foreign ministers approved the use of sanctions Monday against anyone in the world who uses chemical weapons.

A Syrian man mourns after an alleged chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Douma, Syria. File Photo by Mohammed Hassan/UPI | License Photo
A Syrian man mourns after an alleged chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Douma, Syria. File Photo by Mohammed Hassan/UPI | License Photo

The EU said the “restrictive measures to address the use and proliferation of chemical weapons” will allow it to freeze assets, visas and travel within the EU, irrespective of nationality or location.
Individuals or entities within the EU will not be permitted to make funds available to those sanctioned, it said.

Monday’s action follows repeated accusations of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government and the March poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, Britain.

London and several ally nations have blamed the Skripals’ poisonings on the Russian government, a charge Moscow denies.

A draft resolution of the EU ruling for a summit meeting in Brussels Wednesday says work on the sanctions is already underway.

EU leaders “look forward to early progress on the listing of relevant individuals and entities,” the draft resolution said.

The Belgium summit is expected to discuss another sanctions list dealing with cyberattacks. It comes after British and Dutch authorities accused Russian agents of an April attempt to hack the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The draft resolution also notes that “in order to strengthen EU resilience against cyberattacks, negotiations on all cybersecurity proposals should be concluded before the end of the legislature.”

ByEd Adamczyk