The European Union issued a ban on imports of Syrian oil Friday, in what many Syrian analysts believe may be the international community's most significant measure yet to protest Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on anti-government unrest.
"In view of the gravity of the situation in Syria, the Council today further tightened the EU's sanctions against that country and imposed a ban on the import of Syrian oil to the EU," the 27-nation European Union said in a press release Friday. "The prohibition concerns purchase, import and transport of oil and other petroleum products from Syria. No financial or insurance services may be provided for such transactions."
Analysts estimate such sanctions can do real damage to the Damascus regime's economic standing, especially in view of two key facts: Syrian oil exports account for one-third of the Assad government's revenues; and four European countries account for an astonishingly high 90 percent of Syria's oil exports.
The "EU ban on import of oil from Syria will truly bite," Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said on Twitter Friday after the EU decision. "We are serious."Read More »from EU bans import of Syrian oil