EU Paves Way for Sanctions Against Myanmar Coup Instigators

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The European Union said it’s prepared to use sanctions against those responsible for the military coup in Myanmar and called for a return to civilian government in the nation.

“The EU stands ready to adopt restrictive measures targeting those directly responsible for the military coup and their economic interests,” according to an EU statement on Monday.

Myanmar’s military seized control of the country on Feb. 1, disputing Aung San Suu Kyi’s landslide election victory. Despite a ban on public gatherings there have been nationwide demonstrations.

The EU called on Myanmar’s military authorities to release Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and others who have been arrested.

“We have to react swiftly to the violations of human rights and the attack against demonstrators,” Josep Borrell, the EU’s top diplomat, said before a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers. “We are seeing an increasingly violent aftermath of the military coup.”

The coup has been widely condemned, with the United Nations country team expressing “profound concern” over the violence. Germany said the military should pave the way for a return to the democratic process. By contrast, Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Sunday authorities were “exercising utmost restraint through minimum use of force” against what it called “unlawful demonstrations, incitements of unrest and violence.”

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