EU slaps fresh sanctions on Syria
LUXEMBOURG - The European Union imposed fresh sanctions on President Bashar al-Assad's regime Monday, targeting six government ministries as well as a bank and television company.
A statement said this 16th round of sanctions agreed by the bloc's foreign ministers since the repression of anti-Assad protests began in March 2011, brings to 129 people and 49 entities the total on an EU blacklist.
"As long as the repression continues, the EU will continue imposing sanctions against the regime," said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
No details were immediately available on the identity of those blacklisted, but several EU diplomats said on condition of anonymity that assets held in Europe by Syria's defence and home affairs ministries were targeted.
Also on the list were a bank, a television firm, an oil transport company and a security office of the Baath party, sources said.
Monday's sanctions also included a specific ban on insuring items embargoed for delivery to Syria, including arms shipments.
The measure follows an incident some days ago involving a British-insured Russian cargo ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria.
The United States alerted Britain to the consignment and British security services told insurers Standard Club that providing insurance for the shipment would breach EU sanctions, reports said.
Standard Club then cancelled insurance for the ship as well as others in the fleet owned by Russian cargo line Femco, forcing the vessel to head home.