EU slaps sanctions on Syrians, Russians over CW attacks

EU foreign ministers on Monday slapped travel bans and asset freezes on nine people and on Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Centre.
Monday 21/01/2019
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini gives a joint press conference during a Foreign Affairs Ministerial meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels on January 21, 2019. (AFP)
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini gives a joint press conference during a Foreign Affairs Ministerial meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels on January 21, 2019. (AFP)

BRUSSELS — The European Union is imposing sanctions on Russians blamed for a nerve agent attack in Britain and a Syrian research centre as the bloc steps up its action against the use of chemical weapons.

EU foreign ministers on Monday slapped travel bans and asset freezes on nine people and on Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Centre.

Five of those targeted are linked to the Syrian centre’s activities. The four Russians on the list are the two men accused of planting the nerve agent in Salisbury last March and their superiors, the head and deputy head of the GRU, Russia's military intelligence unit.

The ministers said in a statement that the sanctions move "contributes to the EU's efforts to counter the proliferation and use of chemical weapons, which poses a serious threat to international security."

(With The Associated Press)