Russia Sets Up Free Trade Zone with Syria, Gets Priority in Reconstruction Contracts

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Russia Sets Up Free Trade Zone with Syria, Gets Priority in Reconstruction Contracts

Russia and Syria have signed an agreement on creating a ‘green customs corridor’ for agricultural products.

“Syrians are trying hard to supply high-quality products to the Russian market. Why shouldn’t we take these products that give jobs to thousands, tens of thousands of Syrian people? We have agreed on this,” TASS quoted Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin as saying.

Rogozin is now heading a Russian delegation that has arrived in Syria to discuss economic assistance with President Bashar Assad.

“Syria was a successful country that used to sell oil, grain. Now it has neither oil nor grain nor many other products to meet the demands of the population,” the Russian official said.

He added the Russian-Syrian commission for trade and economic, scientific and technical cooperation will consider all possible means to support Syria.

The heads of major private Russian industrial companies have presented energy and transport projects to the Assad government.

Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi announced that Moscow and Damascus have already signed nearly a billion dollars worth of agreements in various sectors of economy, including energy, trade and finance.

Damascus offered to its Russian counterparts a chance to explore and develop oil and gas on land and offshore. Countries are also negotiating a joint bank to make transactions easier.

Russia has got a priority in contracts for the war-torn country’s reconstruction, according to Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem.

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  • chris chuba

    It’s too much to hope for but had the U.S. been reasonable, we could have made dropping all economic sanctions against Syria an incentive for conducting fair elections that included Assad. The meme in the U.S. was that Assad could not be allowed to participate in elections because they would be ‘rigged’ but monitoring said elections could have addressed that.

    I know that this was a red herring. We had ulterior motives. We were worried because we knew or strongly suspected that Assad would win fair elections in a post-civil war Syria.

    • Jan Sammer

      Not to speak of the reconstruction contracts, on which the U.S. is unable to bid due to its self-defeating policy on Syria. I suspect Iranian money, including the tens of billions unfrozen by the US, will play a large role in the reconstruction of Syria. Let’s hope the Trump administration will recognize this as a potentional win-win situation for everyone, drop the sanctions and allow U.S. firms to bid for those lucrative contracts to rebuild Aleppo, Homs and so many other devastated cities.

      • chris chuba

        Declaring Syria one of three countries in the entire world a ‘terrorist state’ was a complete and total farce. The premise of the sanctions is unjust and self defeating and only helps the actual terrorists in the region.

      • ASA

        Aleppo rebuild by f… yanks? Never – they are too stupid to understand anythink about the syrian culture.

        • Jan Sammer

          You’re probably right about that, but they do like money, so I thought this might be a way of getting their attention.

      • Pave Way IV

        I’m still hoping Syria has the sense to sue the U.S. and GCC in international courts for hundreds of billions in war reparations. Before they sue the U.S., they should ban any U.S. or U.S.-related company from participating in any way in reconstruction, and ban every U.S. or U.S.-related NGO from ever setting foot in Syria ever again.