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EU Considers Syrian Oil Embargo

BRUSSELS, Aug. 30 (UPI) — An oil embargo targeting Syria is expected to become reality within the next few days from the members of the European Union, diplomats said.

Syria has exported most of its crude oil to European countries. The 150,000 barrels of crude exported each day provide Damascus with around 30 percent of its federal revenue.

The U.S. government announced in August it was sanctioning five of Syria’s state-run energy companies and froze Syrian financial assets in the United States. The aim of the effort was to tighten the financial screws on Syrian President Bashar Assad as his forces continue their assault on civilian demonstrators.

Washington, however, has a negligible role in the Syrian energy sector and London initially said it was reluctant to take action against the energy sector because it could potentially hurt the people.

Three diplomats in the European Union told The Wall Street Journal on condition of anonymity the EU was ready for an oil embargo. A ban on investing in Syria would likely develop later if needed, the Journal added.

Sanctions are already in place for 50 individuals and nine separate entities, including Iranian ones, in response to the brutal crackdown on anti-government protests.

Despite a statement condemning the Syrian government, there is still no formal resolution from the U.N. Security Council.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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