As part of a resolution on the crisis in Syria, the European Parliament just called for sanctions to be imposed against Russia and Iran. Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake introduced the measures on behalf of the liberals and continues to urge the EU to do more for peace, justice and accountability.
Schaake: "An end to the seven years of bloodshed is nowhere in sight. With the help of both Russia and Iran Assad continues ruthlessly bombarding children, hospitals and aid workers. An unprecedented humanitarian disaster in Eastern Ghouta is unfolding before our very eyes."
"After eleven veto's, Russia finally agreed to the adoption of a UN resolution calling for a ceasefire. Yet Putin was amongst the first to violate this agreement. As the attacks on Eastern Ghouta continue, the EU now has no choice but to impose targetted sanctions against Assad's allies."
Strict sanction implementation
The EU imposed sanctions against Syria in 2011. Under these measures, Assad and his cronies are banned from travelling to Europe and had their assets frozen. Yet Schaake worries that not all member states fully adhere to the sanctions.
"Despite being featured on the EU sanctions list, the Italian government recently invited a security officer from Assad's regime to Rome. This not only undermines the objective of our sanctions, it also undermines the EU's credibility. EU foreign policy chief Mogherini has to get to the bottom of this situation and condemn the behaviour of Italy in the strongest possible terms", according to Schaake.