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MOSCOW, October 10 /TASS/. The opening of a Russian naval base in Tartus, a city on the Mediterranean coast of Syria, will elevate the Russian militaries’ status in the region and improve the quality of implementation of combat tasks, Frants Klintsevich, the first deputy head of the Federation Council Committee for Defense and Security, told TASS on Monday.
He believes that a legal solution on the naval base will make it possible to create all the necessary conditions for the Russian military contingent to carry out the combat tasks assigned to it. "With that base, we will be able to meet our contractual commitments easily. The people, who are doing the military service (at the naval base), will have social guarantees. They will perform their line of duty with a new quality if they enjoy legal protection," Klintsevich stressed.
He noted that Russia would be able to send any number of troops to Tartus dependent on the combat tasks’ nature. Klintsevich said that the base’s legal status would protect the militaries who would serve there under the existing international laws. "It would be extremely difficult for anybody to unpardonably infringe on this right or ignore it complete which has become commonplace in present-day inter-ethnic conflicts," the Russian lawmaker went on to say.
According to Leonid Slutsky, the head of the Russian State Duma Committee for Foreign Affairs, the lower house of parliament is ready to consider an agreement for deploying a Russian military base in the Syrian port of Tartus as a matter of priority.
"As soon as the Duma receives all the documents, we are ready to consider the agreement as a priority. He did not rule out that it might happen in the next few days," Slutsky stressed.
According to him, the agreement’s ratification will contribute to increasing Russia’s presence in the region and will help resolving geopolitical tasks related to struggle against terrorism.
Earlier on Monday, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov said that Russia was planning to deploy a permanent naval base in the Syrian port city of Tartus. According to him, all the legal documents are ready and are waiting for approval by various agencies and departments. At present, a logistics support center for Russiam warships is operating in Tartus. In addition to that, a Russian air group is stationed at Hmeymim airfield in Syria’s Latakia province.