KOMPAS.com - The European Union has expanded its sanctions on Myanmar's military junta to include several key officials and four entities tied to the regime, as the bloc continues its response to last year’s coup.
It also targeted the lucrative, state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).
MOGE is seen as a major source of revenue for the junta.
The military junta's brutal crackdown on resistance to its rule has drawn global condemnation. However, previous rounds of US and European sanctions against the junta have excluded oil and gas.
“The European Union is deeply concerned by the continuing escalation of violence in Myanmar and the evolution towards a protracted conflict with regional implications,” a statement read.
“Since the military coup, the situation has continuously and gravely deteriorated.”
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The EU in its statement repeatedly called for “an immediate cessation of all hostilities, and an end to the disproportionate use of force and the state of emergency.”
Asset freezes and travel bans were imposed on Monday on 22 people, including the ministers for investment, industry, and information, officials at the election commission, and senior military officials.
Oil and gas firm now on a list of sanctions
Human rights groups in Myanmar and around the world had argued that slapping MOGE with sanctions would slash a crucial source of the military’s funds.
According to government forecasts, revenues from natural gas account for nearly 50 percent of Myanmar’s foreign currency inflows.