EU sanctions 9 individuals over use of chemical weapons

21/01/2019 - 18:54 Published in News/General

The European Council on Monday sanctioned nine individuals under the new regime of restrictive measures against use and proliferation of chemical weapons.

In a statement, the European Council said the sanctions have been imposed on head and deputy head of the Russian military intelligence agency GRU and two more officials “for possession, transport and use of chemical weapons in the Salisbury nerve agent attack.”

The sanctions have also been imposed on Syria's state-run Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) for the development and production of chemical weapons, as well as five Syrian officials associated with it, the statement said.

"These persons and entity are the first one being listed under the new chemical weapons sanctions regime. The SSRC was already listed under the Syria sanctions regime," it added.

"Sanctions consist of a travel ban to the EU and an asset freeze for persons, and an asset freeze for entities. In addition, EU persons and entities are forbidden from making funds available to those listed," it added.

In March last year, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia were admitted to hospital after being found unconscious in Salisbury, poisoned by Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia, according to British authorities.

Skripal and his daughter were released after months of treatment, and a police officer involved in the case also had to undergo treatment.

Russian military officers Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, the two main suspects in the poisoning, smuggled in the nerve agent in a perfume bottle, British police said in September.

After the men denied any role in the poisoning in an interview with Russian state TV, the British government denounced Russia’s “obfuscation and lies" in the case.