EU Council adopts new chemical weapons sanctions regime

16 October 2018 (Last Updated October 16th, 2018 10:49)

The EU Council has formally adopted new restrictive measures on chemical weapons at the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg.

EU Council adopts new chemical weapons sanctions regime
Pallets of 155mm artillery shells containing HD mustard gas at Pueblo chemical weapons storage facility. Credit: US Government.

The EU Council has formally adopted new restrictive measures on chemical weapons at the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg.

The regime has been adopted to address and reduce the rapid growth and use of chemical weapons, which pose a serious threat to international security.

Under the measures, EU members will be able to impose restrictions on persons and organisations directly involved in the development and use of chemical weapons, irrespective of their nationality and location.

The restrictive measures are also applied to those who provide financial, technical or material support for the weapons, as well as those who assist, encourage or are associated with their development.

“The restriction supports the global prohibition of the weapons as laid down by the Chemical Weapons Convention to address the rising chemical attacks across the globe.”

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “For years there has been an international taboo on the use of chemical weapons but that is at risk now after Syria and Salisbury.

“We now need to redraw the red line that says that for anyone using these horrific weapons the price will always be too high. These new sanctions are vital, but they are not the end of the story.”

Current sanctions comprise an EU travel ban and an asset freeze for listed persons and entities. Funds made available to anyone listed by EU residents or entities will be prohibited.

The restriction supports the global prohibition of the weapons as laid down by the Chemical Weapons Convention to address the rising chemical attacks across the globe.

The current decision is a direct follow-up to the conclusions of the European Council of 28 June.