1. Introduction

The EU has renewed its sanctions against Syria until 1 June 2014, with the exception of the arms embargo.

For Belarus, the Council has decided to delist three parties from the asset freeze list.

For Libya, the Council has implemented recent EU sanctions amendments with respect to arms embargo exemptions and release of certain frozen funds.

  1. Syria

On 27 May 2013, the EU Council announced its agreement1 to renew most of its sanctions against Syria until 1 June 2014, but to end the arms embargo. As a result, Council Decision 2013/255/CFSP adopted on 31 May 2013 lays down the remaining sanctions measures applicable from 1 June 2013 until 1 June 2014.2 These extend the existing export/import restrictions, restrictions on the financing of certain enterprises and on infrastructure projects (power plants), restrictions on the financing of trade, sanctions in the financial and transport sectors, an asset freeze for listed parties and restrictions on admission of certain persons to the EU.

As regards arms exports to Syria, the EU Member States have committed themselves to only supplying military equipment and equipment that might be used for internal repression for use by the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces for the protection of civilians. They have further pledged to carry out a case-by-case assessment of licence applications taking into account EU criteria, and to require adequate safeguards against misuse of export licenses. Even though the arms embargo expired on 31 May 2013, the Member States have stated that they “will not proceed at this stage” with arms deliveries to Syria. The Council is due to review the situation before 1 August 2013 in order to take into account upcoming international initiatives relating to Syria and the engagement of Syrian parties.

  1. Belarus

On 29 May 2013, the EU delisted one natural person and two legal entities (The Spirit and Vodka Company Aquadiv and Sport-Pari) from the asset freeze list under its sanctions measures against Belarus as from 30 May 2013.4 The EU’s sanctions against Belarus were prolonged until 31 October 2013 late last year.5

  1. Libya

The EU adopted Council Regulation 488/20136 amending the EU sanctions against Libya. This Regulation was adopted to implement the recent Council Decision7 allowing technical and financial assistance intended solely for humanitarian purposes/disarmament8 and another recent Council Decision9 allowing the release of certain frozen funds where they are required to respond to a judicial or administrative decision delivered in the EU or a judicial decision enforceable in an EU Member State.