EU targets measures on the Burmese military
Following the military coup carried out in Myanmar/Burma on 1 February 2021 the EU’s foreign ministers today (22 February) called for de-escalation of the current crisis with an immediate end to the state of emergency, the restoration of the legitimate civilian government and the opening of the newly elected parliament. The EU says it stands with the Burmese people.
They council called again on the military authorities to immediately and unconditionally release President U Win Myint, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all those who have been detained or arrested in connection with the coup and said that authorities should exercise maximum restraint and refrain from the use of violence.
While the EU is ready to support dialogue with all key stakeholders to resolve the situation, the Council stated that the EU stands ready to adopt restrictive measures targeting those directly responsible for the military coup and their economic interests.
Though the conclusions state that the EU will continue reviewing all its policy tools as the situation evolves, including its policy on development cooperation and its trade preferences, EU High Representative Josep Borrell, made it clear that he was against cancelling the ‘everything but arms’ trade agreement as it would harm the population, particularly women, and would not have an impact on the military. He said that it was better to target the military and its economic interests.
The EU will continue to provide humanitarian assistance and will seek to avoid measures that could adversely affect the people of Myanmar, especially those people who are in the most vulnerable circumstances.