On 14 October 2019, the Council of the EU announced that it has extended restrictive measures by the EU addressing the use and proliferation of chemical weapons until 16 October 2020. These sanctions, which consist of a travel ban to the EU and an asset freeze for persons, as well as an asset freeze for entities, currently apply to nine persons – five linked to the Syrian regime and four involved in the Salisbury attack – and one organisation, the Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC), the Syrian regime’s principal entity for the development of chemical weapons. The press release stated:
On 15 October 2018, the Council adopted a horizontal sanctions regime to address the use and proliferation of chemical weapons as a follow-up to the conclusions of the European Council of 28 June 2018. This allows the EU to impose sanctions on persons and entities involved in the development and use of chemical weapons anywhere, regardless of their nationality and location.
The restrictive measures target persons and entities who are directly responsible for the development and use of chemical weapons as well as those who provide financial, technical or material support, and those who assist, encourage or are associated with them. This decision contributes to the EU’s efforts to counter the proliferation and use of chemical weapons which poses a serious threat to international security. It supports the global prohibition of chemical weapons as laid down by the Chemical Weapons Convention, against a background of increasing chemical attacks in various parts of the world.