The European Union’s sanctions against Syria should be dropped due to their negative effect on the humanitarian situation in the country and on the life of the Syrian citizens, the Russian Embassy to the United Kingdom said Thursday.
The sytetment comes after the European Union extended sanctions against Syria until June 2017, including oil embargo, investment curbs, and bans on exports of equipment and technologies.
“We have no doubts that our Western partners wish to help those in horrible plight. However, their sanction policy obviously contradicts their desire to alleviate the suffering of the Syrians. We hope that common sense and compassion will prevail over political and ideological considerations in Brussels, and the sanctions will be lifted soon,” the embassy’s spokesperson said.
According to the spokesperson, the sanctions also undermine the activities of the humanitarian organizations in the country.
“Russia strongly opposes sanctions imposed by the EU on Syria, which have already significantly damaged its economy and had a negative impact upon the well-being of ordinary Syrians. In addition to economic losses, the restrictions have created serious obstacles to the reconstruction of the destroyed country and restoration of the ability of the government to provide services to the civilian population,” the spokesperson stressed.
Some 13.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria, almost half of them children. Around 4.5 million live in hard-to-reach places and close to a half a million are trapped in besieged areas with no access to food, water, electricity or medical supplies, according to the the UN’s World Food Programme.