Russian companies plan to invest in the Syrian coastal city of Tartus among other projects as part of the Syrian reconstruction, Imad Sabuni, the head of the Syrian Planning and International Cooperation Commission said on December 26th.
Russian companies are reportedly planning to construct an airport in the city of Tartus, as well as joint Syrian-Russian plant to produce vaccines within a framework of agreements signed during the 11th session of the Syrian-Russian Intergovernmental Commission held on December 14th in Damascus.
“A project to build an airport in Tartus at the site of an agricultural airfield within the framework of the Build-operate-transfer cooperation … There are two more projects in the field of health care, the most significant of them is the project on building the Russian-Syrian vaccine production plant,” Imad Sabuni said.
Other notable bilateral projects include rebuilding the car tires’ factory and construction of a new cement plant.
A framework agreement was signed during the 11th session of the Syrian-Russian Intergovernmental Commission by the Chairman of Planning and International Cooperation Authority Imad Sabouni and the Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Georgy Kalamanov. It was aimed at implementing a roadmap for trade and industrial cooperation.
Furthermore, an agreement in the Housing and Public Works was signed by Deputy Minister of Public Works and Housing Mazen al-Laham and the First Deputy Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities of the Russian Federation Leonid Stavitsky.
Al-Baath University and the Federal State Budget Educational Institution of Higher Professional Education (STANKIN) signed a scientific and academic cooperation agreement.
Furthermore, a co-operation agreement between the Syrian and Russian Businessmen Councils was signed by Dr. Jamal Kanbrieh, head of the Syrian-Russian Businessmen Council and Dr. Louay Youssef, Director of the Russian-Syrian Business Council.
In the opening speech of the 11th session, Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem said that the meetings would outline the defining features of a roadmap for industrial and economic co-operation to “jump-start the actual partnership between the two countries.”
Al-Moallem also said that Syria welcomes the participation in Russian companies in the reconstruction process, praising Russia’s support for Syria in the fight against terrorism and saying that it has added a new dimension to the historic friendship relations between the two countries.
In total, 30 investment projects were covered in the protocol of the session.
Syrian President Bashar Assad has estimated that it may take up to $400 billion to reconstruct Syria after the conflict. Russia and Iran have repeatedly showed their committal to aiding the Syrian reconstruction.
In terms of military co-operation, following the downing of the Russian IL-20, Russia supplied S-300 air missile defense systems to Syria. In addition to that, following a visit of Israeli officials to Moscow, reports surfaced of new rules of engagement between Israel and Syria.
According to them, all military airports or other facilities in Syria also have Russian officers and soldiers positioned in them. Thus, if Israel targets any of them, it will receive an equal response.
Following the announcement of US withdrawal from Syria, Russia and Iran are expected to play an even larger role in the situation in the country.