EU to embargo Syrian oil

Published on 2 September 2011 at 11:13

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Even before the meeting of European Ministers of Foreign Affairs on September 2 and 3, De Volkskrant is reporting that “the EU will declare a boycott of Syrian oil today in response to the bloody crack-down on the opposition.” The Amsterdam daily carries the statements of the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Uri Rosenthal, made in a television interview September 1. “Unless a member country raises last-minute objections, the decision could be announced officially,” the newspaper writes. According to Rosenthal, the embargo would impose a double blow. On one hand, the ban on crude oil exports will “hit the regime in the solar plexus” as “their foreign currency reserves run out”; and on the other hand, it will bring in sanctions related to the financing and insurance of any companies that transport the oil. “This second measure will also affect countries like Russia and China that are adamantly opposed to sanctions,” De Volkskrant adds. The paper highlights the slow pace of decision-making by the EU, which imports 95 percent of Syria’s oil, and singles out Italy as the country dragging its feet.

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