The EU has imposed new sanctions against individuals known to support Myanmar’s junta, as well as state-owned oil and gas company Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), which was found to provide the militant group with “substantive resources”.
The announcement marks the EU’s fourth listing attempting to limit junta activities, with the latest round targeting 22 individuals, including government ministers and high-ranking members of the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw), as well as four entities including MOGE.
The oil and gas sector has received particular attention for bankrolling much of the junta’s activity and over the past month there has been a mass exodus from Western majors, with companies including Chevron and TotalEnergies retreating from operations amidst pressure from human rights groups. Only last week, Japan’s Mitsubishi followed suit and started plans to sell its shares in a natural gas field in the region.
MOGE – the state’s oil and gas regulator – is a joint venture partner in all offshore gas projects in the nation, and in its latest announcement the EU identified it as playing a major role in supporting the country’s military regime.
“MOGE is thus controlled by and generates revenue for the Tatmadaw, therefore contributing to its capabilities to carry out activities undermining democracy and the rule of law in Myanmar,” the EU said in an update to its legislation.
In total, the EU now has restrictive measures in place against 65 individuals and 10 entities in an attempt to limit junta activity. This includes an asset freeze and a prohibition from making funds available to the targeted individuals and entities. A travel ban also applies to those listed, barring them from entering or travelling through the EU.
The EU has said that it has become “deeply concerned” with the situation in Myanmar since the military coup on 1 February 2021, given the “continuing escalation of violence…and the evolution towards a protracted conflict”.
“As a matter of priority, the EU reiterates its calls for an immediate cessation of all hostilities, and an end to the disproportionate use of force and the state of emergency,” it writes. “The EU will continue to provide humanitarian assistance, in accordance with the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence.”