As violence surges in Syria, The European Union decided to ban the exports to Syria of luxury goods, including boats, with possible military applications. The new EU sanctions are designed partly to target the family of the Syrian president, in particular his wife Asma al-Assad, who is said to have continued shopping for luxury products during the conflict. The EU ban, which will go into effect on June 17, includes shoes costing more than 600 euros ($760), as well as jewelry, gems and pearls.
“In the current situation, the EU must keep up the pressure on the Syrian regime,” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement, quoted by reuters.
“EU sanctions target those responsible for the appalling repression and violence against the civilian population. We have carefully calibrated today’s decisions to avoid affecting the Syrian people.”
The European Union also banned export of caviar, truffles, and cigars costing more than 10 euros per item; wines and spirits over 50 euros per liter; and luxury vehicles, planes and boats costing more than 25,000 euros.
Also banned for export were protection equipment (gas masks and protective suits), chemicals that may be used to make toxic chemical agents; and certain pathogens, such as certain viruses, bacteria and toxins.
The EU has also imposed asset freezes and visa bans on 128 people responsible for or associated with the violent repression against Syria’s civilian population, and an asset freeze on 43 companies and other entities.