Russia and Syria are set to sign a deal on leasing the port of Tartus for 49 years to Russia for economic and logistical purposes, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov announced Saturday after talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"…We are hoping that the agreement will be signed within a week and that the port of Tartus will be in use by Russian businesses," Borisov noted. He also stated that he was hopeful that the move would result in a positive dynamic in mutual trade and that "primarily, it will become advantageous for the Syrian economy."
According to the deputy prime minister, the decision to lease the Tartus Port was made during the assembly of an intergovernmental commission back in December 2018.
Russia also has a naval supply and maintenance facility in Tartus. The agreement between Moscow and Damascus on the expansion and upgrades of the facility was signed on January 18, 2017.
The initiative involving the port is not the only ambitious joint project of Syria and Russia. In November last year, Imad Sabuni, the head of the Syrian Planning and International Cooperation Commission, revealed to local media that Russian companies were planning to construct an airport in the Syrian coastal city of Tartus, as well as a joint plant producing vaccines within a framework of agreements signed during a session of a bilateral intergovernmental commission.
[Source: Sputnik News]