EU restrictive measures (sanctions) may consist of the freezing of funds or economic resources of certain persons, entities and bodies, as well as in some cases in restrictions to trade in certain goods and services. The purpose of these restrictions is to attain the objectives of the Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, which include in particular preserving peace, strengthening international security and consolidating and supporting democracy, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity, the principles of equality and solidarity, and respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law (Article 21 of the Treaty on European Union).
EU sanctions are targeted. They focus on those whose actions endanger the abovementioned values, while avoiding negative consequences on the civilian population. In particular, EU sanctions are not meant to stand in the way nor impede the supply of humanitarian aid, including medical assistance. EU measures comply with all obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, international refugee law, and international humanitarian law.