European Ministers of Foreign Affairs today imposed targeted sanctions against Myanmar. As a result, high-ranking army officials will no longer be welcome in Europe. Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake (D66/ALDE) responds: "The ongoing violence has caused 500.000 Rohingya Muslims to flee and more than 3000 people have been killed. The situation on the ground is horrifying and could not go without a response from the European Union any longer. Yet the EU remains the only international actor that has responded to the flagrant human rights violations in Myanmar with concrete measures. The EU's decision today could offer a glimmer of hope to the thousands of refugees currently in Bangladesh."
Freezing of trade relations
Schaake believes the measures imposed today come far too late. On her initiative, a trade mission by a European Parliamentary delegation was postponed. She also believes the EU should suspend the trade benefits Myanmar currently enjoys under the 'Anything but Arms' programme. Schaake: "Since September, Myanmar's Muslim population has been systematically persecuted and massacred. The European Parliament has called for sanctions several times. It is embarrassing that it took almost two months for today's measures to be imposed. If violations continue, the EU should not hesitate to also freeze EU-Myanmar trade relations."