Russia and Syria have concluded an economic agreement to circumvent US sanctions, announced Russian Vice Prime Minister Yuri Borisov on Monday during a visit to Damascus. The agreement will include 40 new projects in the energy sector, the reconstruction of several power plants, and offshore oil production, he said. The Russians expect to sign the agreement this coming December.
The agreement will “outline a new framework for trade and economic relations between the two countries in the coming years” and provide relief from US sanctions that are harming the Syrian people, Borissov said at a joint press conference with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al- Muallim in Damascus. Borisov met the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was visiting Syria for the first time in eight years, and also attended the press conference.
Russia is one of Assad’s most important supporters in the civil war and has helped him militarily, economically and politically. The economic and financial situation in Syria has deteriorated, among other things because of the coronavirus pandemic and the financial crisis in neighboring Lebanon, where many Syrians have investments.
The pro-government Syrian newspaper “Al-Watan” wrote that both sides also wanted to talk about possible changes to the Syrian constitution and about western sanctions against Syria and the fight against terrorism. The Syrian government describes practically all of its opponents in the civil war as terrorists.