EU ministers agreed Monday to impose more sanctions on Myanmar in order to release the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Suu Kyi, 63 years old, went on trial Monday, facing up to five years in jails. She was accused of breaking the conditions of her house arrest this month which had been due to expire on May 27 after six years of detention and now she is being held in a specially built area of Insein Prison in Burma.
We have an agreement to investigate more sanctions, said British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.
EU ministers discussed ways that existing sanctions, which include via bans and asset freezes on the military government and its backers, might be reinforced, but reached no decisions.
EU foreign policy Chief Javier Solana told reporters tougher steps were in order. It's not the moment to lower sanctions, it's the moment in any case to increase them, he said.
However some ministers and EU officials said only Asian nations could exert a stronger influence on Myanmar.
Our problem with sanctions on Burma is that we have sanctions on virtually everything, said Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. Our relationship with Burma is nearly non-existent and that makes it somewhat complicated.
He said EU ministers would discuss Myanmar with counterparts from Asia, including Myanmar, next week in Hanoi. They are the ones who have the real possibility of influence ... we are dependent on political pressure principally from the neighbors, Bildt said.
He also said that efforts by imposing banking sanctions, which some activists say would be the best way to target Myanmar's rulers had not proven too easy.