HC Deb 13 November 2000 vol 356 cc505-6W
Mrs. Mahon

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if it is his policy that the outer wall of sanctions against Yugoslavia should be lifted. [136969]

Mr. Vaz

No "outer wall" of sanctions is operated by the United Kingdom or by the European Union. In common with all countries, the FRY will need to show its commitment to the obligations which flow from the membership of international organisations, including major financial institutions, and to those organisations' values.

Mr. Alan Keen

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent changes have been made to EU sanctions in relation to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. [138419]

Mr. Vaz

Following the election of Vojislav Kostunica as President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), European Union Foreign Ministers agreed at the General Affairs Council on 9 October to revise EU sanctions against the FRY and to retain specific targeted measures.

The EU oil embargo and flight ban were lifted with effect from 9 October.

On 10 November the Council of the EU adopted a Common Position to restrict financial sanctions and the visa ban to Milosevic and persons associated with him.

The provisions on financial sanctions were implemented by an EC Regulation adopted on 10 November. This Regulation repeals EC Regulations 1294/99 and 607/2000 as well as Article 2 of EC Regulation 926/98. The Regulation will come into force this week with its publication of the Official Journal of the European Communities

The new Regulation provides that all funds held in the EU belonging to individuals listed in the annex to the Regulation shall be frozen and that no funds shall be made available, directly or indirectly, to or for the benefit of any person listed in the annex.

Under the new Regulation all EU financial sanctions in relation to FRY companies will be lifted. All EU restrictions on the provision of export credit support finance and on investment in the FRY will also be lifted.

UK legislation providing penalties for breaches of the financial sanctions will be amended to take account of the new Regulation.

The individuals subject to financial sanctions are identical to those subject to the EU visa ban, which is the subject of a Council Decision of 10 November.

The EU arms embargo and embargo on the supply to the FRY of equipment which might be used for internal repression or terrorism are unaffected. The UN arms embargo against the FRY and prohibition on the arming and training for terrorist activities there remain in force.

Mrs. Mahon

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance he is giving to Yugoslavia to help the refugee population in Serbia. [136970]

Mr. Foulkes

I have been asked to reply.

We are providing £10 million for Serbia in immediate bilateral assistance to including medicines, food and essential items for both the general and refugee populations. This includes £2 million for UNHCR to provide fuel, clothing, blankets and winterisation of collective accommodation housing 50,000 refugees.

Our main contribution to refugees in Serbia is through our share of European Community programmes. The European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) programme in Serbia focuses on refugees and on the sick and elderly in the host population. ECHO provided 84 million euros in such assistance in 1999 of which we contributed £9.2 million. Its programme of 73 million euros in 2000 includes 18 million euros, of which we contribute £1.95 million, to assist with winterisation needs of refugees and vulnerable groups. This has been provided from the EC's special programme of 200 million euros immediate humanitarian assistance, which is providing food, medicines, energy and support to schools and municipalities. This aid will provide support to both the refugee and general populations.

Forward to