20 Aug 2019 14:23

Syria's Tartus port to have mostly Russian administration - MP Sablin after meeting with al-Assad

MOSCOW. Aug 20 (Interfax) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has called the Syrian-Russian agreement on joint management of the Tartus port important, State Duma deputy Dmitry Sablin told the press on Tuesday after he met with al-Assad.

"President al-Assad has noted the importance of the earlier agreement on Syria's Tartus port, which will be under joint management, mostly by a Russian administration," Sablin said.

According to Sablin, who also heads the Sevastopol branch of the United Russia party, the Syrian president supported development of relations between the two cities. "The Tartus port will be responsible for developing relations with Sevastopol," Sablin quoted al-Assad as saying.

Sablin met with Tartus Governor Safwan Abu Saad on Monday and delivered an invitation from acting Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev to visit the city, Sablin's press service told Interfax in a statement.

The visit will help coordinate an action plan regarding the Tartus-Sevastopol cooperation agreement, which was signed in January 2019, allowing Russia to lease the port for the next 49 years and use it for transportation and economic purposes.

Russian Ambassador to Damascus Alexander Yefimov said in July that renovation would expand Tartus' capacity to 38 million tonnes of cargo per year.