The EU on Monday announced that it is working towards establishing a sanctions regime for political leaders in Lebanon almost a year since the Beirut port explosion.
Since Lebanon’s government resigned after the August 2020 blast, an interim government has headed the country. On top of the political uncertainty, Lebanon faces hyperinflation, food and fuel shortages, blackouts, and a currency crisis.
Somehow, Western powers look at the crisis in Lebanon and think sanctions will help. Josep Borrell, the EU foreign policy chief, said the idea is to put pressure on Lebanon’s leaders to form a more stable government. “They need to have a Lebanese government in order to avoid the breakdown of the country,” he said.
Borrell wants to establish a mechanism for sanctions by the end of the month. “I can say that the objective is to complete this by the end of the month. I am not talking about the implementation of the regime, just the building of the regime according to sound legal basis,” he said.
Since Lebanon’s currency began collapsing in 2019, and since the Beirut blast, the US has been adding new sanctions on Lebanon, including measures against the country’s central bank imposed by the Trump administration. The Biden administration has continued the trend and has slapped sanctions on individuals who allegedly helped Hezbollah avoid US sanctions.