The European Council has announced its decision to extend the regime allowing the European Union (EU) to impose restrictive measures on persons and entities involved in the development and use of chemical weapons by one year, until 16 October 2021.
The objective of the EU sanctions regime is to support the global prohibition of chemical weapons as laid down by the Chemical Weapons Convention, at a moment when chemical attacks are increasing in various parts of the world.
The sanctions regime was introduced in 2018 as a follow-up to the conclusions of the European Council of 28 June 2018. The objective was to counter the proliferation and use of chemical weapons, which pose a serious threat to international security.
The regime was due to apply until 16 October 2020. On the basis of a regular annual review, it was decided to extend the restrictive measures for a further year.
Restrictive measures currently apply to nine persons – five linked to the Syrian regime and four involved in the Salisbury attack using the toxic nerve agent Novichok – and one organisation, the Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC), the Syrian regime’s principal entity for the development of chemical weapons.
The restrictive measures consist of a ban on travel to the EU and an asset freeze for persons, and an asset freeze for entities. In addition, persons and entities in the EU are forbidden from making funds available to those listed.