The European Commission president and the EU’s top diplomat on Monday condemned the military’s seizure of power in Myanmar and demanded the immediate release of all those it had detained in raids across the country.
The European Union is Myanmar’s third-biggest trading partner and has given the country special trade preferences, which could potentially be removed, although such a process would likely not be immediate.
“I strongly condemn the coup in Myanmar,” Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter, and called for the “immediate and unconditional release” of all those detained. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell released a statement also condemning the coup, saying “democracy must prevail.”
“The legitimate civilian government must be restored, in line with the country’s constitution & the November elections,” von der Leyen said, referring to Monday’s coup.
Neither Borrell nor von der Leyen detailed any possible measures against the military. In 2018, the EU imposed sanctions against Myanmar generals over killings of Rohingya Muslims. The EU also has an arms embargo on the Southeast Asian country.
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