The European Union on Monday announced new sanctions on seven senior Venezuelan officials, saying this was an expression of the bloc’s concern with the political crisis under President Nicolas Maduro.
Reuters reported last week the EU would make the move, which introduces a travel ban and an asset freeze on people in charge of security forces accused of widespread abuses, particularly during the 2017 anti-government protests.
While the EU already has an arms embargo in place on Venezuela, it has not considered imposing an oil embargo or blacklisting Maduro himself.
Oil and related products make up three-quarters of Venezuela’s exports to the EU. The country has the world’s largest proven oil reserves but suffers inflation and food shortages.