Brussels lifts embargo on Syrian rebels’ oil

Published on 23 April 2013 at 12:00

The European Union eased sanctions against Syrian rebel-controlled areas on April 22, approving trade in Syrian oil and related industries, writes the European Voice. EU firms may now buy and sell oil, provide machinery to petrochemical companies and provide investment in the oil sector, on condition they receive the approval of the rebel government, the Syrian National Council, says the news website. A trade embargo was imposed on Syrian leader Bashar al Assad’s regime in September 2011, in an effort to encourage him to negotiate with rebel forces. European Voice adds that

The partial rollback of the EU's extensive sanctions regime, which came at the suggestion of Germany, is the first relaxation of the EU's sanctions. It is not, however, expected in the short term to boost significantly the economy in rebel-controlled areas.

Before the conflict began in March 2011, the EU had purchased almost all of Syria’s oil, worth around $3bn (€2.3bn) in 2010.

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