13 Dec 2017 16:47

Duma, Federation Council to ratify deal on naval base in Syria's Tartus - senator

MOSCOW. Dec 13 (Interfax) - The Russian Navy's logistics-support station in Syria's Tartus will be transformed into a full-fledged naval base in the future, Russian Federation Council Defense and Security Committee first deputy head Franz Klintsevich said.

"In the future, the Russian Navy's logistics-support station in the area of the Syrian port of Tartus will become a full-fledged naval base," Klintsevich's press service quoted him as saying in comments on the Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to submit the agreement on Russia's naval base in Tartus to the State Duma for ratification.

The document solidifies Russia's military presence in Syria, which is essential for maintaining stability in this country, Klintsevich said. The agreement is strategic and is designed to last 49 years, with the option of its automatic extension by 25-year periods, he said.

"I'd like to point out that the agreement was signed on January 18 but was submitted for ratification only now. I think this has something to do with the complete defeat of IS [banned in Russia] in Syria, which has convincingly proven the efficiency of Russia's military presence," Klintsevich said.

The Russian and Syrian presidents reaffirmed the need for this agreement at their recent meeting at the Hmeimim Airbase, he said.

"I have no doubt that there will be no problems with the agreement's passage through the Russian parliament," Klintsevich said.