HC Deb 14 March 2000 vol 346 cc141-2W
Mr. Coaker

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what changes have been made to measures in place against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. [114824]

Mr. Vaz

The European Union's ECOFIN Council on 28 February adopted a Common Position and Council Decision implementing changes to the EU sanctions regime on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which had been agreed at the General Affairs Council on 14 February. Council Decision 2000/177/CFSP introduced, with immediate effect, a revised and expanded list of FRY citizens (representing an increase to a total of 794 names) against whom the EU visa ban applies, and Common Position 2000/176/CFSP suspended the EU flight ban on the FRY for a period of six months. The suspension of the flight ban will come into effect when the necessary amendments have been made to the relevant Council regulations. In parallel we are working with our partners to tighten up the implementation of financial sanctions targeted against the regime.

Further to the written answer given by my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Central (Mr. Lloyd)—the then Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs—on 13 July 1999, Official Report, columns 141–42W, the Government have decided to introduce a case by case approach to consideration of export licence applications for dual use goods to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia including Kosovo and Montenegro. There are humanitarian developmental and commercial reasons for doing so and it brings us into line with the practice of our major partners. Reconstruction in Kosovo is crucial to the province's development and the UK contribution to Kosovo could potentially be hindered without a change in practice. Applications will be considered consistent with the national export licensing criteria announced in July 1997 and those in the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports. We will not approve any dual use goods licence applications which could benefit the armed forces, internal security forces or similar entities of the authorities in Belgrade.

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