Skip to main content




EU to impose new sanctions on Myanmar junta, companies

EU to impose new sanctions on Myanmar junta, companies

FILE PHOTO: European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell attends a news conference after a EU-Georgia association council in Brussels, Belgium, March 16, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool

JAKARTA: The EU will impose a new round of sanctions on Myanmar's military junta and its economic interests in the coming days, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell told Reuters on Thursday (Jun 3). 

In an interview in Jakarta after meetings with Southeast Asian diplomats, Borrell said the fresh sanctions from the EU would be the third batch introduced since the military ousted Myanmar's democratically-elected government on Feb 1.

"There is a third row of sanctions in preparation that will be approved (in) the coming days (targeting) personnel of the military junta and also the entity that represents the economic interests of the military," he said.

Since the coup, EU sanctions have frozen assets or applied travel bans on 21 military and civilian members of Myanmar's junta. European citizens and companies are also forbidden from making funds available to those sanctioned.

The bloc's last round of sanctions in April targeted military-owned conglomerates Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL) and Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC), barring EU investors and banks from doing business with them.

The EU sanctions, along with those of other Western powers, have yet to persuade the junta to cede to their demands to restore democracy, release political detainees or begin dialogue with members of the ousted government, many of whom are imprisoned.

READ: UK sanctions Myanmar Gems Enterprise in bid to cut off military funding

READ: US hits Myanmar ministers, central bank chief with sanctions

The coup plunged Myanmar into crisis after 10 years of tentative steps toward democracy. Mass demonstrations have met with a deadly crackdown by security forces and the economy has collapsed. A refugee crisis is growing and some of Myanmar's many ethnic armed groups are taking up arms against the junta.

While in Jakarta, Borrell met with envoys from countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Thursday. The headquarters of ASEAN, which includes Myanmar as one of its 10 members, is based in the Indonesian capital.

Borrell said he told the Myanmar representative to ASEAN to "end repression and go back to normal political behaviour through free and fair elections".

He said he wanted ASEAN to continue to lead the global diplomatic effort to restore stability and democracy to Myanmar, even though the group has been criticised by human rights groups, opponents of the junta and experts for being too slow and too meek in responding to the coup.

"They are doing the best possible job," said Borrell.

READ: 100 days of the Myanmar coup: Why the military seized control and what happens next

As first reported by Reuters, two senior ASEAN officials are heading to Myanmar this week to meet with the junta, the first visit by the bloc's representatives since the coup was launched.

ASEAN has also said it opposed a non-binding UN resolution for an arms embargo on Myanmar. The EU already has a freeze on the sale and transfer of weapons to the country.

A further 14 high-ranking Myanmar military officials were sanctioned by the EU for serious human rights abuses against the Rohingya minority after some 700,000 of the Muslim ethnic group were violently expelled from Buddhist-majority Myanmar by security forces in 2017.

Source: Reuters


Also worth reading