BRUSSELS, January 21. /TASS/. The European Union (EU) has imposed sanctions on the Head and Deputy Head of Russia’s GRU military intelligence service over the Skripal poisoning case, as part of the EU’s new round of restrictive measures against individuals thought to be responsible for the production and dissemination of chemical weapons, the EU Council said on Monday.
"The Council imposed today sanctions on nine persons and one entity under the new regime of restrictive measures against the use and proliferation of chemical weapons created on 15 October 2018," the EU said in a statement.
"These designations include the two GRU officials, and the Head and Deputy Head of the GRU (also known as the G.U., or the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces) responsible for possession, transport and use in Salisbury (UK) of a toxic nerve agent on the weekend of 4 March 2018," the statement reads.
Sanctions are also imposed on the Syrian entity responsible for the development and production of chemical weapons, the Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), as well as five Syrian officials directly involved in the SSRC's activities. These persons and entity are the first one being listed under the new chemical weapons sanctions regime, according to the statement.
"The legal acts, including the names of the persons concerned, will be available in the EU Official Journal of 21 January 2019," the statement reads.
New sanctions regime on chemical weapons
The EU Council approved the decision agreed by 28 EU ambassadors last week. As a source in the EU told TASS, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov suspected of poisoning former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia are among the 4 "GRU officers" slapped with the sanctions.
The EU Council adopted the new regime of restrictive measures on October 15, 2018 to address the use and proliferation of chemical weapons.
Under the new regime, the EU will be able to impose sanctions on persons and entities involved in the development and use of chemical weapons anywhere, regardless of their nationality and location.
The restrictive measures will target persons and entities who are directly responsible for the development and use of chemical weapons, and also those who provide financial, technical or material support, as well as those who assist, encourage or are associated with them.
The process of elaborating a new mechanism of imposing sanctions was launched as part of a decision of the EU summit held in late June 2018. The decision stipulates the need to create a new regime of EU restrictive measures aimed against the proliferation of chemical weapons.
The decision was adopted a day after a special session of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), convened on the initiative of the United Kingdom and the United States over the Skripal case, and also in the wake of accusations of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government troops in Syria, completed its work in The Hague.