EU Imposes Further Sanctions on Libya, Blocks Oil, Gas RevenuesWorld | March 25, 2011, Friday // 11:47| views
President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy chats with French President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) during an European Union summit in Brussels, Belgium, 24 March 2011. Photo by EPA/BGNES
The European Union has announced it is taking further sanctions against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi and is blocking the access to Libyan oil and gas revenues.
"The European Union stands ready to initiate and adopt further sanctions, including measures to ensure that oil and gas revenues do not reach the Gaddafi regime," the EU heads of state and government said in a statement after a meeting in Brussels, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The EU leaders condemned "the violent and brutal repression" of the regime of Gaddafi and once again called on him to give up power immediately.
Tightening sanctions on oil and gas was necessary to ensure Gaddafi does not pay his mercenaries with oil resources, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said.
"We've decided to ask all countries in the world no longer to pay for oil from Libya because Gaddafi is paying mercenaries from that money. This is a global mobilization," Sarkozy said.
However, it was not clear whether oil resources in the part of the country controlled by rebels could be exploited.
"The EU stands ready to help foster this dialogue, including with the National Transition Council, and assist a new Libya economically and in the building of its new institutions, in cooperation with the United Nations, the Arab League, the African Union and others," the EU statement said.
In late February, the EU agreed on sanctions against Libyan officials and has broadened the measures a number of times since then to include key Libyan entities and other individuals.
On Thursday, the EU decided that further sanctions should include a travel ban, an arms sale ban and an asset freeze, to the Libyan National Oil Corporation and other entities covered by the latest UN Security Resolution sanctions.
The President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said that a "bloodbath" had been avoiding through the air strikes and that "thousands of lives" had been saved.
The EU leaders expressed their "serious concern" about the situation at Libya's borders and said that the EU had "stepped up" planning for humanitarian operations.
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