The European Union is ready to toughen its sanctions on Myanmar if no progress is made on democracy, but would consider easing them if the situation improved, EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels said Monday.
EU member states "deplore the lack of progress made this year towards a genuine transition to democracy" and are "prepared to revise, amend or reinforce the measures (they have) already adopted to keep pace with developments," a joint statement said.
The EU is "determined to help the people of Myanmar to achieve stability, prosperity and democracy," the ministers said, reported dpa.
But the bloc holds that "elections scheduled for 2010 will have no credibility unless the Myanmar authorities unconditionally release all political prisoners, in particular Daw Aung Sang Suu Kyi, and initiate a political process with UN support," the statement said.
The EU has long condemned Myanmar's military regime for its lack of democratic accountability and the long-term arrest of pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi.
However, Monday's meeting also welcomed the "close cooperation" between the UN, ASEAN and the Myanmar authorities in reaction to Cyclone Nargis, which devastated the country in May.