Thank you for your message of 23 March, in which you advocate for additional EU sanctions against military leaders and military-owned companies in response to the military coup on 1 February and the ensuing repression. High Representative and Vice President Borrell has asked me to reply on his behalf.
The European Union strongly condemned the military coup. On2 February, the EU’s 27 Member States condemned in the strongest terms the military coup and called upon the military to immediately and unconditionally release all those arrested in connection with the coup, de-escalate the situation, and restore the legitimate Government.
On 22 March, EU Ministers agreed to sanction 11 individuals for their role in the military coup and in the ensuing repression(https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases). On 19 April the EU adopted a new package of sanctions targeting 10 additional individuals and two military-controlled companies(https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2021/04/19/myanm...).
The sanctions recently adopted complement measures already in place,which includean enhanced arms embargo, whichrestricts also the export of dual-use goods to the military, Police and Border Guard Police, and prohibitsexport of equipment for communications that could be used for internal repression. EU also prohibits allmilitary training and military cooperation with the Tatmadaw. In terms of individual restrictive measures (visa ban and asset freeze), 14 individuals were previously listed by the EU. Now the total stands at 35.
In addition to the above-mentioned sanctions, the European Union has put any development assistance payments going to the Government’s budget on hold and has frozen any assistance to Government ministries that may be interpreted as recognition.
The EU issupportingthe role of the Human Rights’ Defenders, journalists and NGOs , which are currently threatened by the military.
At the same time, the European Union is also working relentlessly on the diplomatic front to build a wide coalition of countries, beginning with ASEAN and regional partners, that could Ref. Ares(2021)3446778 - 25/05/2021 take the lead in facilitating dialogue and de-escalation in Myanmar, with a view to returning Myanmar onto its path towards democracy.
As part of this international diplomatic effort, the European Union co-sponsored a Resolution at a Special Session of the Human Rights Council on 15 February, which calls upon the Myanmar military and authorities ‘to protect the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, religion or belief, association and peaceful assembly in accordance with international human rights law’. The EU also tabled a new Resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, which wasadopted by consensus at the 46thsession of the UN Human Rights Council (https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=26943...) .
The EU will closely follow the situation in Myanmar, with the aim of facilitating the restoration of democracy, in close cooperation with our EU Member States, our international allies and regional partners.