Saturday

29th Jul 2017

EU drops talk of sanctions on Aleppo massacre

  • Aleppo in october. "There is no justification to reduce a whole city to ashes," German foreign minister said. (Photo: REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail)

Foreign ministers did not discuss new sanctions against Syrian or Russian authorities in Brussels on Monday (12 December), despite accusations that they had reduced Aleppo to "ashes".

The city, parts of which have endured weeks of Syrian regime and Russian air strikes, massacring the civilian population, is said to be 90-percent controlled by regime forces.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The EU foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini said after chairing the ministers’ meeting in Brussels on Monday that "the situation is clearly not positive and not encouraging - to use an euphemism."

She said there was unity on trying to get in more humanitarian aid.

She added that “no member state is asking for additional work on sanctions," however.

The EU, in November, added 17 Syrian ministers and the governor of the central bank to the list of people subjected to asset freezes and travel bans.

EU leaders had also voiced outrage at Russia’s role in the Aleppo bombardment and the UK, among others, proposed adding Russian names to the blacklist.

Some ministers on Monday again criticised Moscow.

French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said that no ceasefire in Aleppo could be agreed because of "Russian dual language” and Russia’s “kind of permanent lie."

He said that even if Syrian and Russian troops conquered 100 percent Aleppo, only "naifs" and "supporters of realpolitik" thought that that would mean the end of the war.

"What will make peace is a total ceasefire and resumption of negotiations," he said.

His German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said "Russia's role was clear" and that it was "an illusion" to believe that fighting would end soon.

Aleppo in ashes

He said that even if there had been radical Islamist fighters in Aleppo, there was "no justification to reduce a whole city to ashes, bomb hospitals and leave citizens exposed to a situation in which they can at best just survive."

Speaking before the meeting, Luxembourg's Jean Asselborn said that the EU should favour a political solution and that "the keys are in the hands of the US and Russia, of the Iranians, Saudis and many others in the region."

In the meantime, Mogherini said, the EU was working with regional players to "try to start a political process."

"We need to have political transition and power sharing," she said.

Invisible work

She added that the EU's priority was civilians. She said that "the EU is the one that is, with the US, delivering and trying to deliver humanitarian aid."

She said that 850,000 people have received food thanks to the EU and that 350,000 children were covered by a special protection programme.

"Our work is constant, even if sometimes not very visible," she said.

EU shames Russia on Aleppo 'massacre'

The EU has named Russia as being partly responsible for a “massacre” of “historic” proportions in Syria, but ruled out extra sanctions or military force.

EU to help Libya send migrants back home

EU states aim to help Libya deport would-be migrants back home, while keeping open “all available options” on its response to Russia’s "deliberate targeting" of civilians in Syria.

News in Brief

  1. EU citizens will need registration to enter UK in Brexit transition
  2. Italy weighs up sending navy into Libyan waters
  3. Swedish PM fights for survival amid IT scandal
  4. Poland's Kaczynski vows to continue judicial reform
  5. Werner Hoyer re-appointed as EU investment bank chief
  6. Spanish PM denies knowledge of party corruption
  7. France 'routinely' abuses migrants, says NGO
  8. Swedish government rocked by data scandal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  2. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  3. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  5. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  6. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  7. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  9. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  10. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  11. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  12. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Ep. 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug

Latest News

  1. UK and EU stuck on 'philosophy' of Brexit bill
  2. Europe needs a policy for peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
  3. Spain's PM appeals to court over Catalan independence
  4. Senate backs Russia sanctions, setting scene for EU clash
  5. France and Italy quarrel over shipyard and Libya
  6. Corbyn re-opens Labour's single market wound
  7. Visegrad lobby makes food quality an EU issue
  8. EU court could dismiss national borders in cyberspace